Publishing & Social Media

Social media is necessary to successfully sell my book.

Is this TRUE or FALSE for you?

I was just going to write this for self-published authors, but this a question for ALL authors.

I am not published yet, but I read a lot. And I knew that building up my social media presence was KEY to being successful. It doesn’t mean my book will sell – but I certainly have a better chance by using it. And by doing it beforehand – with people who will follow my journey – I find people who are truly interested in what I have to say. At least, I hope so! ;)

Point is: I don’t think anyone can say this statement is false. Even if your friends and family buy your book, you still have to convince other people your book is worth buying. That they WANT to buy it, read it, share it.

Social media doesn’t necessarily mean just Twitter and Facebook, though. It’s Pinterest and Goodreads. It’s sites that will promote your book for free, for a fee, for a swap, etc. It’s writing posts on your blog or website that pertain to your book, your writing style, your publishing journey. It’s promoting your book on the places you sell it – wherever that may be.

It’s connecting, in whatever way possible, with those whom you want to attract to your book.

It’s giving those readers something to look forward to – even if it’s months in advance. It’s doing giveaways, ARC’s, beta reading, free copies once published in exchange for an honest review. It’s talking and sharing.

It’s supporting other authors – either by sharing a post, sharing their book, sharing your thoughts on their book with a review. It’s recommending their book to your friends. It’s following them on networking sites and them following you back. It’s getting YOUR work and THEIR work into the hands of those who will then pass it on.

Social media is the way. And I find that trying to keep up with it sometimes is exhausting. It’s almost a full-time job all on it’s own, on top of the writing I have to do! But I love it. I love connecting with others, making new friends, finding new reads and all around, the great community aspect I’ve discovered is THE BEST!

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Like or dislike? (Love that picture, haha)…Do you enjoy using social media? Have you met many new people? Does it take up a lot of your time? If not, how do you limit yourself and still successfully network?

I look forward to hearing all of your thoughts! :)
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What Can WE Do For YOU?

What features – if any – would you like to see available on Novelnook?

I’m asking all of you – our readers, our authors – is there anything you would like to have on Novelnook that isn’t currently available? Any and all ideas will be something I would send in for consideration.

I really love Novelnook. Even if I become published traditionally, I still want to put my books on the Novelnook site. So, I try to promote the site and see our base growing all the time!

One of the things I suggested a while back is the ability to preview. Sure, I could see if it is elsewhere and preview it, then come back and buy it but I don’t really want too. I like being able to do it all in one place – how about you?

I’d really love to entice more authors and readers to join us. Any ideas on how we here at Novelnook can do that?

As a writer myself, I consider building the fan/reader base as the hardest part. This might be shocking (or not!) but I am a rather reserved person. I am slowly making friends and contacts. And I’m only trying to promote myself!

How do I get new people to sign up without spamming? I thought touting 100% royalties would do a great job of enticing, but that doesn’t seem to be the case. I also run the Twitter account currently, so I’d love more ideas for that instead of just tweeting about the 100% royalties or the blog posts.

So…what would you like to see here at Novelnook?
And how can I get others excited to join Novelnook and help us grow?
Please tell me below!

I will be sure to respond and we can start a discussion on how to make Novelnook an awesome place for everyone – authors and readers alike. :)

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The Great Return Debate

Today is a topic with a big question I’d love for our readers to answer…

How long do you think a customer should have to return an eBook?

Apparently, Amazon has a seven day return policy on eBooks. Some thoughts I have heard while surfing around the ‘net include:

1. Is seven days too long? Someone can easily read a book in that time and the return means the Author has to give the money from that sale back.

2. Since customers can usually preview the first 10% of the book, should there be a return policy at all? They get the opportunity to know if they’ll like it before they buy it.

3. Can we really compare it to an actual store with a paperback? The customer returns it – either for cash or store credit – and the store has the product back to sell. The eBooks do not work that way, as it directly impacts the Author per #1.

Here is my personal opinion:

You shouldn’t be able to return an eBook under certain conditions. With Amazon, you get to preview the book most of the time. I have come across a few times I’ve not been able to look, but that’s very rare.

In the cases of books you can’t preview, I think it should be allowed for 24 to 48 hours. Otherwise? No – unless the book is so riddled with errors that you cannot possibly read it or the description was misleading and/or the book was in the wrong category. Again, 24 to 48 hours. Seven days is, in my opinion, entirely too long.

I read pretty fast. At nearly 600 words a minute, way faster than most people I know. I can read a 400 page romance novel in one hour if I am uninterrupted. The actual timing is not exact but that is to give you an idea. For me, I could buy books, return them and basically use Amazon as a library service.

Is this right? No. It’s not nice, either. It allows blatant abuse of the eBook system and while I wouldn’t dare do such a thing, being an Author myself…some people are not so scrupulous.

There has even been a petition started in hopes of sending to Amazon and convincing them to change their policy.

So tell me – what do you think the limit should be? Do you think Amazon should have one at all – such as in cases of the inability to preview a book?

Have you had people return your eBooks – two, three, four, seven days later?

I look forward to reading your thoughts below.
*Please note that this is my opinion and in no way is the opinion of Novelnook. But since this is an eBook site where you sell your books (or read the books of others) I figured it was the perfect audience to pitch such a question to. Thank you!*

 

 

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“I Don’t Like Your Novel”

In my observations the last few months, it has become quite clear that reviews will either be an indie authors joy…or an absolute nightmare that could potentially sink them.

Personally, I’ve yet to experience this because I am not published. I do, however, have friends who have experienced this and people are way less kind than just saying “I don’t like your novel.” They are actually really insulting and some will even go so far as to insult your intelligence or tell you that you should just stop writing because, well…you suck.

Why do people feel the need to be so mean? Is it that hard to just say “Wow, this story really wasn’t my cup of tea. I’ll just put it down and move on”? Is there a need to give a 1 star review and talk about how you want to bang your head against a wall or stab your eyes out after reading the story?

In a world where self-publishing is more prevalent, you are bound to run across books that you feel are less than adequate. It doesn’t mean you need to write horrible or mean reviews for every single one of them. What exactly would you achieve by doing so? Many eBooks by unknown authors are relatively cheap – and I’d rather waste a little money and say nothing, than talk about how terrible the book is in my opinion and end up stopping someone who would enjoy the book from buying it.

Everybody is entitled to their opinion – but even if it is the internet, it doesn’t give anyone the right to put another person down personally. There is nothing more annoying than hearing “It’s just the internet, don’t take it personally” because behind every computer, there is a real person, with REAL feelings! That author, whether you like their story or not, is a real person.

The internet tends to give people more….”courage” (yeah, that’s what I’ll call it to keep it clean) than they would have in real life. How many of you would go up to someone and start ranting to them about how their clothes, their looks, their cars, their shoes…are ugly and stupid and lame, etc? Would you go up to the author in person and tell them how badly their book sucked and you wish they would just stop writing?

It’s one thing to give a critique and any author who wants to succeed and grow wants to hear feedback. It’s the rudeness and pettiness and absolute cruelty that isn’t necessary. And a one or two star review for a book that has nothing wrong with it except for you not liking the plot line or a character, is ridiculous.

I’ve come across books I absolutely hate or find has too much head hopping and gives me a headache – I don’t write a scathing review or tell the author the book sucks – I just stop reading it and read something else. I have plenty of stuff I could be doing that is a more productive use of my time, energy and thoughts.

Life isn’t all rainbows and unicorns – sometimes a story is ugly, the people are witchy and unlikeable and you may wish that you could stab a particular character who makes the story less ‘pretty’ than it would be without them. So here I am to give you some tips on how to be a great reader and reviewer!

  1. If you get a book for free and like it, review it! One or two sentences and 3 to 5 stars is all that is necessary, you don’t have to give details about what you liked if you don’t want to.
  2. If you don’t like a book due to major errors, inaccuracies, etc. why not send a message to the author – who I am sure you could find somewhere other than where you bought their book and tell them? They can’t fix it if they don’t know there is a problem!
  3. Don’t be a jerk! If you don’t like it because it is just a horrible story in your opinion, that is fine but is it necessary to put other people off of the story who may actually like it? Don’t recommend it, don’t tell your friends, don’t review it – I am sure there are plenty of others who will like it and will review it. Move on and don’t be mean for the sake of being mean. If it is for other reasons – see #2.
  4. Share the books you like in any way you can. Promote the authors you love, even if its only one or two a day. Word of mouth is one of the strongest forms of advertisement for authors.

I hope you liked my post today. If you didn’t, that is okay too. Really, even if this post keeps one person from posting that nasty review they really don’t need to post, then I’ve done my job.

Have a great week everyone!

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Should You Just Self-Publish? Part Two!

Welcome back!

In Part One, I gave some general information about choosing to self-publish or try to get your novel traditionally published. Today, I’m going to give you the pro’s and con’s of MY decision and I hope it will help you as well!

Let’s jump right into it! Please keep in mind that some of there are simply MY beliefs of what they could do for me and you may disagree.

What are the pro’s of traditional publishing?
  • If it is one (or part of one) of the “Big Six,” the brand is recognizable and therefore, someone who reads a lot of their books and trusts them may buy my book on a whim when they perhaps otherwise wouldn’t if it is my very first novel.
  • Someone else will be making my cover, editing the book, formatting it, etc. and this will save me from having to pay out of pocket for these expenses which can actually be pretty expensive if I don’t do it all on my own.
  • They will do marketing of my book to their already loyal fans while I am still pretty new to gaining fans and may sell less if I publish on my own.
  • It would be the culmination of a life-long dream and really, hearing from someone partial that your writing is worth publishing is different than hearing it from your friends and family because that someone is willing to take a chance on you and your novel!
What are the pro’s of self-publishing?
  • I retain 100% control of many things – such as the cover, who edits it, where it sells, how much it sells for, etc.
  • I can publish it immediately, whereas I may have to wait a bit by going traditionally.
  • I would be able to pretty much do whatever I wanted with the book because it is mine and I retain all rights to it.
  • It would still be the culmination of a life-long dream to be a published writer and author.

Keeping all control seems like a great reason to self-publish, doesn’t it? Continue reading

Should You Just Self-Publish? Part one!

Hi everyone!

My question for you today is – should you pass up the chance to publish your book traditionally and just go the self-publishing route?

In all honestly, there is no way that anyone can answer this question for you. You have to decide all by yourself and it can be a daunting decision that will make you wonder how it can be accomplished.

At this point in time, there are many ways to self-publish your novel – as well as traditionally publish your novel outside of the “Big Six” – so I am here to tell you a personal story and what I think I’m going to and why. I also hope that this will help you – which is the main reason I am writing this.

So, I’ve finally started writing the last parts of my NaNo novel! I received a lot of great feedback on it and I am really excited to finish it and publish the story! It is the first book of an intended three and I’m at 42,000 words. I had to redo some of it after NaNo and A LOT of the story ended up being deleted. Now that I’m almost done writing it – the plan is 50,000 – I am thinking in advance of publishing options!

First, I love the idea of self-publishing – especially with Novelnook! Even if I publish with them, I can still publish it elsewhere, which is fantastic! The question is with such a great feature as 100% royalties, why wouldn’t I just self-publish without debate?

Let’s just say that since you were a child, your dream was to write something fantastic and get published. I’m sure we all have that dream, right? It’s a great dream and self-publishing has made some people who had gotten denied bestsellers anyway! We live in an amazing world where we can make or buy our own book covers, pay people to edit and proofread our stories and just put it on the internet for others to buy.

Self-publishing can be difficult though, too. You are pretty much 100% responsible for making sure your book is ready to go (editing, proofreading, your own cover, etc.) promoting your book and getting people to buy it. With some other services, you still don’t get ALL the money for your book, but you certainly get more than if you traditionally publish. You have to build your own platform, find readers who are interested in the type of stories you write and then sell your story. I’ve met some great people who have done extremely well and it is absolutely possible to do it all on your own.

As for me…I write romances. At this time, I’m in the process of writing a series of three contemporary, one historical and one fantasy with intentions to make those a series of five each.  My favorite to read is historical but I find contemporary easier to write. Historical involves more research and while I can easily do that, the stories will take longer to write for me since I am a perfectionist! I want to write them all and each have their own way of coming about in my mind, which is why I have so many started at once.

My dream has always been to be published by Avon Romance. They house some of my favorite writers and to be published by them would be amazing! Plus, they publish almost any romance category you can think of which is an advantage to someone like me who wants to write in more than one sub-genre.

With traditional publishing, you don’t get 100% royalties. With Avon specifically, their e-book print starts off with 25% royalties up to 10,000 copies sold; after that, it rises to 50%. They also have print-on-demand available and these rates are discussed when you decide to write for them so I cannot include them here, as I have no idea what they are.

The reason for the royalty rates being low is this – they do have to pay people to edit, proofread, make a cover, market, etc. your book. With print books, they also have to print them off which costs more money than an eBook. For the majority of us, we’ve all had jobs. Think about it – we like to get paid decent wages from them, correct? I get it and I can totally understand the need for not paying you every single dime they get from selling your book.

On the other hand, I am not an all-in-one book writing machine. Sure, I consider myself to have above average editing and proofreading skills. However, even I miss things in my writing that makes me wanna slap myself when I realize what I’ve done and go “how the heck did I miss that?!” I’ve seen advertisements for proofreading or editing services that want 2 or 3 cents a word. For a 50,000 novel – which is the lowest word count for a romance to be considered a novel – do the math! I don’t have that kind of money lying around and I bet most other people don’t either.

The great news is – a writer can do both. You can choose one or the other and you’re not wrong for it. It’s up to you, what you can afford to do on your own. Really, it’s what you want to do on your own versus that which you’d rather someone else do. If you can do it all on your own, self-publishing straight away may be your route. If you have a dream, perhaps you chance traditional publishing.

And, If your dreams don’t work out, you can always self-publish anyway!

So which way should I go? That will be Part 2 which I will post Saturday.  At that time, I will tell you what I’ve chosen and why. I’ll also list the pro’s and con’s of both of my choices.

Until then, tell me in the comments below what you’ve done or what you think you might do! Have a great rest of the week! :)

 

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Part 5 – How Do I Turn This Thing On?

Publishing with Novelnook is easy and so is promoting yourself and your eBook!

In an earlier post, I showed you how to create a future eBook to create buzz. If you already have an eBook you want to publish ready to go, it’s also an easy process.

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First, you will click on the “My Account” button. Then, find the “Publish!” button to the right of your screen and this will take you to the “Publish your eBook” page. Fill in all the information. You will need: Continue reading