Category: Twitter -  L.A. Tripp
 
Why are we killing ourselves?

Every day that passes, indie authors who are struggling to make even one single sale or begging other indie authors to PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE buy my book because I would love to see even one single sale!

Ahem. OK. We are authors...begging other struggling authors to buy our books. Why not try a radical concept and present our awesome work to actual readers? The market is SO much bigger. Sure, then we open ourselves up to the criticism that actual readers may not like our work. Well, if that's the case, then shouldn't we know that sooner rather than later? Shouldn't we know so that we can improve right now? Shouldn't we know whether actual readers would be honored to buy our product or products?

Yes, we writers are shooting ourselves in proverbial feet on a daily basis.

Don't get me wrong. I see tremendous value in each author "buying" the free books other authors use to promote themselves...but when an author is hawking their paid for wares to other struggling authors, we're only spinning our wheels.

Does that makes sense?

For those that read my blog and see changes, it should be obvious that I'm working on gearing this blog more toward actual readers, rather than trying to make fellow writers happy. Really, fellow writers' opinions just don't matter much in the bigger scheme of attaining enough sales from actual readers to support my family. No offense, that's just reality. A dozen writers can tell me that my blog sucks, but if a dozen readers like it and click to buy, I don't care if even two dozen writers tell me my blog sucks. Get that?

Yes, I know. Rough, crude. But it's also reality. In fact, it's a reality that EVERY author needs to think about. Unless you're only looking to sell to close family and friends.

In which case...disregard this entire blog post, haha.

We writers spend so much time marketing ourselves, and yes that's a necessity, but are we working super hard or super smart? If it's just super hard, we need to revamp our plans and work super smart. The same effort working super smart will produce more results than only working super hard.

Hope some of you are with me. If so, let's change the trends. Let's find some actual readers.
 
What does one do in their spare time? What's your love? Dvora Swickle talks today about reading to kids and why she feels it's vital.

Dvora's motto is T.T.R.A.B, "Time To Read Another Book".
http://dvoraswickle.wordpress.com/
https://www.facebook.com/Deborah.Ann.Johnson
http://pinterest.com/dvoraswickle
https://twitter.com/#!/dvoraswickle
dvoraswickle.com

Dvora Swickle (AKA D.A. Johnson) has been entertaining and writing for children (and her two kids) for over 20 years. Dvora drove school bus for 10 years, creating poems for children to read upon arrival to school. Dvora loves to read in school classrooms, children are captivated by her voice. Dvora works with special needs children and is devoted to helping students 18 to 21 transition from high school into the work community and living independently. 

Stories can help students understand problems without feeling it is directed towards them personally. Working in the school system for 17 years, has been a blessing for her and the students around her, finding time to read during library time Dvora enjoys reading and putting fun voices to her characters, inviting children to take part. Every time she reads "sweet green grass" kids are encouraged to raise there hands. Dvora loves seeing all the fingers in the air, makes her feel so appreciated and warm in knowing they are really listening.

I am a fisher woman by heart and writing a story about a worm and fish seemed fitting for me. In The Wormy Story, I always wondered really what happened down there in the depths of the water between the worm and the fish. 

In the classroom where I work, children find memorizing a hard subject. Easy for some than others I decided to write a short story Eggs 4 Tea. In this story describes how to remember something by association, so read with me while Ellie the elephant learns how to remember names and find new friends too. 

I believe with all my heart reading is the door to the world, finding fun characters who teach while entertaining in a positive spirit. Walk with me through my vision to keep children reading.

As always, if you like what this author has to say in their guest spot, please patronize them by clicking on their book on the sidebar. I make absolutely nothing off your purchase through this site. I'm just glad to have them stop by and hope you get some pleasure from meeting another author.
 
Circles? We're going in circles now? Ah yes, the circle of life, the circle of writing life, the circle that is the ring that we give as the marriage symbol, the tire that's on our vehicle....wait, I'm going a bit far, now, eh? Let's let today's guest tell us about her idea of circles...Kd Rose, take it away:

The Circles of Writing Life

Our circle starts with my book at about 90 degrees around. It's brilliant! It's original! Very few will "get" it! It doesn't fit in a genre! It's a hard sell! It's almost unnoticed! Wait- did the exclamatory hyperbole change?

First books usually have the author's internal organs indelibly attached, and whether the books are avant-garde like mine, or simply lost among the growing number published each month, most author's still wouldn't change a word.

The circle moves to authors who've had better fortune. Or talent. Or both. And those special ones who've done even more. For example, Dave Eggers. Dave Eggers does not need another article written about him. (Wouldn't the rest of us like to say that too.) Yet, Eggers continues to be one of the most deserving. Eggers is now known for his work with 826 National Nonprofit and McSweeney's Publishing House. His actual award-winning first novel, A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius, almost takes a backseat.

Eggers is one of the co-founders of 826 National, a nonprofit that uses pirates, superheroes and mysterious voices booming from the back of rooms to create a learning environment for kids that actually produces results, while almost tricking them into increasing their reading and writing skills. The kids write books. Real books. Titled, bound, printed and sold books.

When we forget; when we're so busy marketing our wares, selling ourselves on social media, pleading for unknown strangers to just take a chance on our book, it's fitting and rejuvenating to return to the beginning of the circle.

"826 helps young people learn that language can be play, that work can be joyful, and that they, themselves can be the inventors and caretakers of their world." - Michael Chabon, Pulitzer Prize winning author and 826 volunteer.

So in the middle of this authorship, this selling off pieces of ourselves-but hopefully not our souls, we can think back, and thereby forward. Words are play. Writing, (even marketing) is creating. A writer is a caretaker who bears responsibility for all his or her words touch.

Then perhaps the pen becomes a little lighter. Facebook becomes a way to share information that matters. Twitter becomes a tool to express wit and connect with other minds- minds that are enigmas yet have unlimited potential. And maybe, just maybe, one of those minds will add play to words, authenticity to redundancy, and launch a caretaking campaign that touches future generations. After all, who wouldn't want a career like Dave Eggers?

Readers can find K.D. Rose's book Heavy Bags of Soul at: http://www.amazon.com/Heavy-Bags-Soul-K-Rose/dp/1475170629 as well as on Barnes and Noble and Books-a-Million.

Email: kd.rose@aol.com
Twitter: @kdrose1
Facebook: kdroseauthor
LinkedIn: KD Rose
Website: heavybagsofsoul.com

Readers can find more on 826 National at: http://826national.org
826 National also has 8 satellite chapters. There may be one near you!

About the Author:

K.D. Rose is the author of Heavy Bags of Soul, an edgy- hits you in the gut- gives you the education you never knew you needed- indie book. Written with irony, truth, and a spiked pen, Heavy Bags of Soul takes the reader past the self into self-evolution.

Watch the trailer at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pd8vw2jlxts.
Get the Book: http://www.amazon.com/Heavy-Bags-Soul-K-Rose/dp/1475170629

As always, if you like what this author has to say in their guest spot, please patronize them by clicking on their book on the sidebar. I make absolutely nothing off your purchase through this site. I'm just glad to have them stop by and hope you get some pleasure from meeting another author.
 
Meet Jim Kukral. He knows marketing. Below is an interview I did with him. Yes, it looks like he's pimping his own service, but these are actually the questions I asked him. For anyone wanting to market their books more, these answers could help you. So, here you go:

1. How many eyes are typically needed to land on a book for an author to expect one sale?

There's no way to answer that question. The reader might be looking for something different than what they found. They might not really be ready to buy. The best advice for an author is to target potential readers that fit their niche and industry and do a really good job of communicating what the book is about through the title and the cover.

2. What is the typical lag time between a potential reader seeing a new book and actually buying that book?

I believe books are mostly impulse purchases. People go to the Internet for two reasons only. One is to have a problem solved (think non-fiction books), and two is to be entertained (fiction). Either way, people buy books for a specific reason. 

3. How many times does a normal future reader need to see a book advertised before they decide to buy?

Again, there's no way to tell that. Advertising gurus will tell you that repetition is key though. As an online marketer myself, we know that if you can put your message in front of a consumer more than five times you have a much greater chance at them taking an action. That's why email lists and social media follows are so important. You can to continuously market. You can't assume people are going to buy at first exposure. They won't, typically.

4. What should an author do to avoid landing in the category with the books that sell a maximum of 500 books over their lifetime?

Build your own platform. Email list. Social media, etc... There's no way around it. You have to have fans and followers. Or spend a lot of money on advertising. The choice is yours. There is no secret to it. It's all hard work. Boo, I know that sucks to hear.

5. Where are you available for authors to easily hire you?

My firm, www.digitalbooklaunch.com helps authors create and market books for the purpose of driving sales, leads and publicity for their business or brand or career. Got an idea for a book? We'll help you make it a reality, in a way that makes sense and actually provides some return on investment for you. Otherwise, what's the point?

6. Do you offer payment plans?

We'll work with anyone's needs. Contact me for a no-cost, no obligation consultation today. Just visit DigitalBookLaunch.comI hope this interview will help some fellow authors. 

Check him out if you like what you see.

And again, don't forget our Summer Comedy Event. Follow me on twitter for more: @LATripp2818
 
Watch where you're standing...that's my platform! Or was that platform shoes they were referring to...? Well, I have no idea what platform shoes are, but our guest today, Ey Wade, does want to talk about your writing platform. So listen up!

Finding a Platform

I have (I think) finally found my writing platform. I have read a lot about the need of one and could never really figure out what to build on and now I know. After following a few articles from recommendations on Twitter I became aware of headlines which fit so well with manuscripts I have been working on. I found it amazing how close headlines fit to the works of the written word.

My platform is based on the premise life demands action. Whether it is nonfiction , YA depicting bullying, teen pregnancy, picture books teaching morals and life skills, or a novel making a statement will be the goal. There are many things happening in the world which ticks me the hell off. I, as a citizen in the ‘real’ world can’t change society with a flick of my hand, but my laptop keys can kick butt and change fallacies. I can write people to fulfill my dreams. I can have them do what needs to be done and get away with it.

And because I think a proven rapist (especially of a child) should be caught and beaten to death on the spot and because I am tired of injustices in the judicial system where it seems sexual predators, pedophiles, and deviants have lenient sentences or get away with their crime I wrote The Fishing Trip, where the good guy is the grey matter.  In The Fishing Trip a man named Durham takes revenge on all of the child molesters in his town where perverts are prevalent. In the novel some of the most violent and horrendous acts on children are performed and the abusers face retribution. In my opinion anyone who has the sick mind to rape and/or commit other acts of violence on children, should just accept the fact they will die without a trial.  I know it’s not as easy as black and white, but I bet if redemption fell hard on creeps like that, this sort of crime would end quickly, I'm just sayin'. There are other countries that don't play with this aspect of society. I have decided to have interviews with the characters from my books. THE FISHING TRIP @ In the Chair . 

Come over and get to meet them.

My life demanding action (which must have been festering in my subconscious) caused me to write Beads on a String America's Racially Intertwined History. You can learn all about the reasons behind this enormous feat HERE.

The Perfect Solution which is discussed Here had the first characters to sit In the Chair  .  

These are just a few of my steps unto my platform. I shall be polishing my words, strengthening my platform and building me a bookshelf. Because I shall write the best novels and I will need a place to put all my published books.

Web: Wade-In Publishing http://wade-inpublishing.com

Youtube: http://bit.ly/Fishingvid

Amazon US http://amzn.to/FishingT

Amazon UK http://amzn.to/FishingUK

As always, if you like what this author has to say in their guest spot, please patronize them by clicking on their book on the sidebar. I make absolutely nothing off your purchase through this site. I'm just glad to have them stop by and hope you get some pleasure from meeting another author.
 
Alright, I've run these free promotional days on KDP Select several times now. I've also had books free through another method that would likely be considered old school now.

I've had exactly one very successful free promotional day.

The bottom line about the KDP Select free days are...the free day in and of itself is absolutely nothing more than a tool. There is no magic in it. Your book absolutely will not jump in the rankings simply because you schedule a free day.

In fact, just as you would normally promote your rear end off when your book is selling for a monetary figure, you'll also need to promote your rear off for the free promotional day or days that you schedule.

"But I thought you said you've had one very successful promo day," you ask.

Yes, you're right. And here's the difference.

Ok, for the promo day I just had, I gave away approximately 150 copies....TOTAL in the US of my book. My ranking peaked at 25 from what I saw. And, during this day, my book was tweeted by myself and a few others through out the day. It was also facebooked by myself and a few others through out the day. Plus it was promoted by Flurries for Words (or something like that), Author Marketing Club or one of their lists, and a couple of other venues. In other words, my book was promoted by a few different venues and several individuals. And that resulted in about 150 copies in the US. Yes, I had some in the UK as well, and 1 copy in each of a couple of other countries. Seriously, one copy. But, I'm focusing on the US numbers because that's normally our bread and butter.

Now, the very successful day I had, I literally had a couple of thousand downloads of my book before I even remembered that it was free that day.

What was the difference?

It kinda makes me sick to say this, because it makes me sick to admit that we authors are dependent on one or two different sites/venues to "make us" successful. But, here's the rotten truth. That one day, my book was mentioned by Ereader News Today.

This round, my book was mentioned by three or four other sites along with friends and myself pimping it all day. for a grand total of 150 copies in the US. When Ereader News Today (ENT) promoted it, it downloaded around 3,000 copies total in one day without me saying a word.

In fact, from what I've gathered, if ENT or Pixel of Ink promote your book, you can actually expect around 3,000 copies to be downloaded in one day.

When this many copies are downloaded in one day, this shoots your book up to the top or near the top of the chart in your genre. My book, All Jacked Up, stayed at the number one spot for a day or two when ENT mentioned my book.

P.S. There is absolutely nothing wrong with any of the other venues that you can use for book promotion on your free days. In fact, I think they are doing a great thing...AND I wish they were much bigger than they are and have much more impact than they do. I hate it that the only sites with a real impact are Pixel and ENT. In fact, if you'll look at this very website of mine, I have a section on this for free books. I'm trying to build this site up to have the kind of reach that Pixel and ENT have, and hopefully help more authors get their names out there. So please, check out my page on this site as well.

Back to my original point. Here's the benefit of KDP Select. Once your free day is over, or days, your book automatically goes back to being charged for. If you go "old school" as in through Smashwords and that process to get Amazon to go free, you will have a harder time getting your book back to paid. With Select it automatically goes back to paid.

Other than that, KDP Select does absolutely nothing in and of itself for your book as far as promotional value.
 
Welcome all to our Summer Comedy Event! 

Now, I know you're excited about this and for good reason. You're about to meet a few authors you may have never experienced before, plus have a chance to read some GREAT new work! 

Here's how this will work. We'll post a contest on twitter with the hashtag #finishtheline each week. You'll have 5 days to come up with the absolute BEST finish to that line so that at the end of that week, you'll win a copy of one of that author's coveted books! Fun and fantastic prizes, right!? 

Example: "If I just hadn't put the key in the ignition this morning..." You finish that line with the most fabulous thing you can think of and, if you have the best line, that author will give you ONE FREE COPY of one of their titles that week! Simple as that!

This contest will run on twitter every week. We will also promote the contest on facebook. Please join us in finishing the line AND promoting on facebook!

The official kick off to this contest is June 3rd, with the contest running the week of June 4th through June 8th. The last contest will run July 23rd through July 27th. Follow me on twitter @LATripp2818 to join in the fun!

We look forward to meeting a ton of you readers AND we look forward to entertaining you for a few hours of your precious time with one of our books!

Have a great summer!
 

I asked this special author..."Where do you start?" Then she proceeds to pull her hair out. Just kidding. It's a question some authors are likely asked a lot. So I had to return the favor ;) Anyway, Ms Byrd gave us a fantastic response, so I wanted to share:

Katrina Renee Byrd

Where Do I Start?

I hear this question a lot. It is one question that packs a real punch. When people ask this one questions they are usually asking three things.

1. How do I get my ideas on paper?

2. Where do I find time to write?

3.. Where does the piece of work need to begin?

Where do I start? How do I get my ideas on paper?

I can think of some great ideas but when I try to write them, there’s nothing there.”

Honey, there’s something there,” I say as I fluff my boa. “You just have to know how to access it.”

One of the most common mistakes about getting ideas on paper is that we try to edit before we write. We hear the ideas in our head but we work diligently to erase them and we don’t even know it. Here let me show you. Take out a sheet of paper or open your word processor. Write the following:

sorry” she said but that wasn’t good enough for the teacher. She still said that she’d call her mother That scared Ellen. She walked slowly from her bus stop thinking… When she reached the front steps her mother stood on the porch. “Get into this house right now,” her mother said.

Look at what you’ve just written. Is it punctuated properly? Is it coherent? Is it something you want to share with your English teacher? Of course not but you have gotten the idea on paper. Take a minute to do some editing. Then take a look at my edits.

“Sorry,” Ella said. She stared at Mrs. Johnson, her second grade teacher behind thick glasses. Ella said it again, but sorry wasn’t good enough for Old Lady Johnson.

“I’m calling your mother this afternoon, young lady,” Mrs. Johnson said shaking a finger at Ella then turning her back to Ella and addressing the rest of the class.

Where do I start? Where do I find time to write?

I am too busy. I just don’t have time to write?

Busy doing what, honey?” I ask.

That’s the real question. We are all busy but what are we busy doing? If you want to be a writer you must write. I was shocked when I realized this concept. So walking around town advertising myself as a writer is not the same as being a writer? Sadly it is not. Neither is cleaning your house, nursing your boa flouncing career or being at every writers’ group meeting. So when I really embraced this concept I found some fun ways to write small pieces AND get feedback!! Dare I say it out loud? FACEBOOK, blogging, twitter… All of these entities give you the opportunity to come up with creative, short pieces in a short period of time. Another way to jump start your writing life is to carve out small periods of time for your writing. At this point it’s not the number of minutes or hours that you write but rather that you honor the time that you’ve set for yourself. If you say you are going to write from 3:00 pm – 3:02 pm then have your butt in chair, keyboard in hand and sit there for two, uninterrupted minutes of writing.

Where do I start? Where does the piece of work begin?

This question is a bit difficult to answer because so many of us write differently. Some use an outline, some fly by the seat of their pants and some do both. For me, I have come to realize that where I begin writing the story is not necessarily where the reader begins reading it. So when I sit down to begin writing a story I may begin writing “…and they lived happily ever after.” Where as once the story reaches the hands of the reader the first line he sees may be “Once upon a time.”

Some writers write linear and some don’t. Even with an outline I may choose to write chapter five first then go back and write chapter two. I really think the import thing is to know yourself and feel brave enough and free enough to begin writing wherever you’d like.

 So to answer the question where do I start? I say, “WRITE!”

As always, if you like what this author has to say in their guest spot, please patronize them by clicking on their book on the sidebar. I make absolutely nothing off your purchase through this site. I'm just glad to have them stop by and hope you get some pleasure from meeting another author.

 
And now, time to introduce Seumas...fully clothed:

Seumas Gallacher
IT”S AS MUCH FUN AS YOU CAN HAVE WITH YOUR CLOTHES ON

Now I’m on the tiger, I can’t get off..
  … and I really don’t want to get off. You know these crazy bucket lists, somewhere between ‘saving Africa from Justin Beiber’ and ‘getting everybody in France to speak English'? I’ve had tons of them. As a kid I wanted to be a drummer, then a football player, Scottish style (very elegant ball dribbler). That was superseded by a yearn to make tons of money as a gambling bookie. Next up came the Stones and Eric Clapton and Freddy Mercury…all change again, front man in a great band it had to be. Then along came that thing that John Lennon spoke about, ‘life happening when you’re busy doing other things..’ Oh, yeah, life. That thing. Well that thing triggered off with the standard Glasgow practice issue of punching my father out when I was fifteen, and off I went with a duffle bag and an old acoustic guitar, into that big wonderful world out there.

Now, over forty years on, the history I look back on astounds me. That surely wasn’t me becoming a bank employee, then a bank officer, then, Oh God help us, the man in charge running banks all over the planet. Sounds too proper, too correct, too boring. Well it would’ve been except… except along came a twenty year war with booze that I didn’t win. I hammered it in Europe and Asia, got my licks into it in London, Hong Kong, Singapore, but bugger me, it never gave up…by the time we got to round fifteen in Singapore, it had me beat on a points
count. I declared a truce. Round about then I was sent (a slum lad no less) to Harvard to re-tread the brain box. To get their money back, my employers made me corporate Mr Fixit, jumping on planes to this, that and the other mess that needed the surgery applied. Why I am I telling you all this? Because that’s where the boredom stopped and all the great experiences started to pile in. Hong Kong has its own magic for any foreigner. Asia gave a range of cultures…Bangkok, Seoul, Japan, China, Kuala Lumpur, Taipei,…and the characters that zone in and out of these places are just that…characters that you’d normally only see in books and the movies. I loved all of it.

I’ve been in Abu Dhabi since 2004 but the workout before that was a stricken ferry company in Manila in the Philippines. The first thing I did was fire 600 trade union dockside workers. That got me to the top of the Christmas Card list, and a present of an armoured car with half a dozen armed body guards. These lads were SAS-trained, and so were born the guts of the characters in my debut novel THE VIOLIN MAN”S LEGACY. There’s things which work within the law, but the stuff that goes on under the radar is always more fascinating.

So, back to the ride on the tiger…the writing. The book was finished three years ago and was promptly despatched to forty agents. Just as swiftly it attracted forty rejection slips. So, what to do? Give up there? No bloody way. This was my baby. There was too much of me in it not to let it see the light of day properly. I got it appraised professionally, then re-edited a couple of times. Now what? The 'now what?' was amazing. In the middle of last year, someone suggested Kindle. Now, understand this. As a 24 carat computer Jurassic, I’d never heard of
Kindle. It was explained to me single syllable words. On to Kindle it went. In the first three weeks it got 80 downloads and I thought “Karamba, I’m a published author!” I then started asking email pals, to get email pals, to pass it on. Within the next three months it exceeded 7,000 downloads, and at the last count it’s now tracking well over 16,000 paid hits. The writing‘s the easy part, getting the mother out there is the real work. As a businessman, the decision for me is easy. It calls for a proper campaign of blogs, review sites, Twitter, visibility, visibility, visibility, and oh, by the way, write a decent piece of work. 

The second novel, VENGEANCE WEARS BLACK, is well in progress with three other story concepts to follow, all in the same series, all about the ex-SAS guys taking on a host of various criminals, using their black operations skills. It’s a helluva blast, and I don’t see it being any less fun for the foreseeable future.


As always, if this author intrigues you, please patronize their work by clicking on their book cover to the right, which will take you to their Amazon page.