About Writers, book promotion, book reviews, book sales, Publisher's Advice, publishing, Uncategorized

Advice for Authors and Writers

Hi everyone. I’m Andrea Dawn, owner of Tell-Tale Press. We publish short stories on our website that are free to read in the genres of fantasy, horror, mystery/crime and science fiction. We also publish anthologies and novels. Right now we have our anthologies available on Kindle, but we’ll be producing print books soon. And we always, always pay our authors! If you want to learn more about Tell-Tale Press, our website is www.telltalepress.net. Submissions are currently open for short stories, so be sure to check out the submissions page! You can also follow us on Facebook and Instagram: www.facebook.com/telltalepress and #TellTalePress.

I posted this list on my personal Facebook page and was asked to send it on so more folks can read it. So here you go! I’m still learning about the publishing world, but in the past few months I have learned some extremely valuable information that I think can help everyone. So, these are some tips for getting your work out into the public and how to get published. I’m not scolding you or trying to name and blame. These are simply tips I think really can help.

  1. OTHER AUTHORS ARE NOT YOUR AUDIENCE. If you want to make friends with authors and collaborate, maybe beta read for each other, or just whine about the writing world in general, that’s great. No problem there. But they are writing too and are also trying to get their work out there, and most likely they won’t have time to read your book as they’re too busy writing. Your audience is instead readers. Find online book clubs, groups that talk about books. Look for reviewers who do honest reviews for free or a small fee (but be sure they are legitimate sources). Start a blog and post it in those reader groups. And in the real world, you can do things like donate your book to a library and include lots of information on how to follow you. You can also contact local bookstores and ask to do a reading and book signings. Be proactive to find readers, not other authors.
  2. DON’T USE MESSENGER OR EMAILS AS AN ADVERTISING TOOL. I am not joking: I literally will unfriend and/or block someone when they send me a link to their book immediately after I’ve approved their friendship. Using Messenger to solicit is like the Jehovah’s Witnesses of social media: no one wants you knocking on their door to tell you things you haven’t asked about. And don’t do it with emails, either, unless someone has signed up for a newsletter from you. I don’t mind if people send me an Invite to like their page, though.
  3. LEAVE EDITORS AND PUBLISHERS ALONE. Don’t message a publisher or editor saying someday you’re going to write a great novel, and they’re going to publish or edit it! First, you’re assuming that the publisher or editor would even want to work with you or like your work. Second, it’s nothing but buzzing in our ears. “I’m gonna” means nothing to us. We need product, not promises. If you want to set goals for yourself, do so by creating a calendar or Vision Board. Don’t use our inboxes to do it.
  4. ONLY SEND IN SUBS WHEN PUBLISHERS ARE OPEN TO SUBS. And most importantly…
  5. FOLLOW THE SUBMISSION GUIDELINES EXACTLY. I don’t know if I can get any clearer on those two facts.
  6. YOU GOTTA SPEND MONEY TO MAKE MONEY. Ads on Facebook have really worked for me. I haven’t tried ads on other social media platforms yet, but I will. I find that free advertising–such as those giant book websites that will post your ad for free–garner no sales. And figure out where your money is going to be most effective for your genre. Do most horror lovers find their book recs online? If so, where? And a great place to advertise: local cons. Readers truly do love meeting authors. You will find that you can gain more followers and support when you are face to face with a potential reader. And to that end…
  7. KNOW WHAT VENUES WORK FOR YOUR GENRE. If you are selling extreme horror, then the sidewalk fair that happens each month in the church parking lot is probably not the place for you. Or if your genre is fantasy romance, the Halloween con won’t be a good idea either.
  8. GIVING YOUR BOOK AWAY DOES NOT SELL MORE BOOKS. I know one publishing company that constantly gives away books. So why should I ever buy a book from them when I can just watch their page and sign up for a giveaway? Especially since their page isn’t closely followed by their fans and it’s very easy to be the only person who answers their trivia questions or shares their post. And this company is also screwing over their authors; they’re not getting any money for the books they give away, and therefore the author doesn’t get his/her cut. So side tip: watch out for those kinds of publishers as well. They won’t be doing you any favors as an author.
  9. GIVEAWAYS FOR A CERTAIN AMOUNT OF BUYS DOES WORK. Let’s say you have a trilogy, and the final book is coming out. Tell folks if they pre-order your book, you will give them the previous two books for a single discounted price. Or perhaps you’ll give away book 1 for free on Kindle. Now THAT is incentive to buy!
  10. LEARN TO ORGANIZE. Learn how to budget your time and money. There are lots of online tips for how to do both of these things. Even DIY shows can help with this–of course, we all know Marie Kondo is wrong about only having thirty books, but she still has great tips that really can help organize our lives. We don’t have to be the stereotypical “starving artist”. It just means that we must train ourselves to be better at where our money and time goes.
  11. ENGAGE. I have learned from watching authors over the past few years that trying to be secretive and private does not work. It doesn’t get your work out there, and no one is going to advertise for you for free. Or if they do, they won’t do it for long. Then I see those people try to randomly engage here and there, and they get no response. No one wants to know who you are if you’re not engaging with your audience–there is no longer that mystery of “who is that author?” going around like there used to be in the 90s. Or I see people try to create a new persona online that is separate from their real self. But then you get tangled up in what you told who and where and on what page… it can get very frustrating for you. I’ve learned that in social media, you must make connections. And the best way to do that is to be truthful. Be friendly. Be yourself. Talk about movies you like, other books you like, ask questions of people, like what’s your favorite dinosaur! You don’t have to tell your deepest, darkest secrets, but you can share cat pics and tell funny stories about your dog or spouse. If you touch on politics, remember that not everyone’s going to like you, and it’s okay for them to not like you and not want to buy your books. The key is that you will find your own audience by being yourself, and it WILL be worth it.
  12. STAY OFF SOCIAL MEDIA. Okay, after talking about how to engage and interact, I tell you to stay off social media? What I mean is don’t waste time just scrolling along and randomly liking and commenting. Maybe set a timer for yourself on how long you’re on social media. Do advertising as you need, and engage as you need, and then move on. You can also set yourself a schedule: Every day from X to Y I will engage on social media, and that’s it. We all fall into the rabbit hole that is clicking away at everything, so learn how to step away so you can get to work on writing and advertising.
  13. HAVE FUN. Writing should be enjoyable. If you’re not having a good time, then reevaluate why you’re doing this. Be sure to make time for yourself as well–keep your health up and go outside here and there. You will find that it will only make your time on the computer even better!

Links:
http://www.telltalepress.net
Submissions are now open: http://www.telltalepress.net/submissions
http://www.facebook.com/telltalepress
Instagram: #TellTalePress

Andrea Dawn
Tell-Tale Press Owner & Editor
http://www.telltalepress.net

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About Writers, blogging, book promotion, book reviews, book sales, editing, Flash Fiction, Google Ads, humor, inspiration, Legal, Literary Agents, Literary critique, Magic and Science, mythology, publishing, reading, Research, Satire, scams, self-publishing, Stories, Uncategorized, Welcome, world-building, Writers Co-op, Writers Co-op Anthology, writing technique

An Invitation to Blog

The Writers Co-op is looking for a few good bloggers. Anyone in the writing life is welcome to submit a blog. If you have something to say about writing, editing, publishing, marketing or just want to share news of your latest effort, we’re interested. Submit a new blog, or, a link to your current blog page.

Members should post their blog in the draft section. Others should submit their their blog or link to GD <at> Deckard <dot> com. Blogs are posted every Monday or Thursday morning on a first-come basis.

Remember that readers are likely to be people in the writing life interested in learning from one another. Sharing our successes, failures, insights, knowledge and humor is a big part of the life we lead.

I look forward to hearing from you.

– GD Deckard, Founding Member

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book promotion, book reviews, Uncategorized

Beast (A Twisted Tale Series)

NEW RELEASE by Lisa Edward
(Beast is the first in a series of fairytale retelling novels.)

Life had always been good to me, and I made sure to keep it that way. My mom had given me the only tool I’d need to succeed—manipulation. Add to that the fact I was beautiful, confident, and rich, and I was on my way to having it all.

My name is Annabelle, and I was the stereotypical head cheerleader, dating the star quarterback. The school was mine, and I couldn’t wait to be crowned prom queen.

One night, my world changed forever. All I believed my future would hold was ripped from my grasp in a ball of flames. I lost my identity, my boyfriend, and my friends. Suddenly, I was the monster nobody wanted around.

A scarf hid my true identity, and I was left staring at the beast in the mirror. My appearance now matched the ugliness I once had inside, but I’d do everything I could to prove I still had some beauty buried deep within.

Sometimes, you have to lose who you are to become who you were meant to be.

Amazon Link

Reviews
Beast was an amazing spin on Beauty and the Beast…I loved the originality to this story as the retelling was creative and clever.” – Amazon reviewer

Beast was a beautiful story…It looked at the importance that inner beauty should have over our physical appearance.” – 2OCC Reviews

Author
Lisa Edward is the author of  the Songbird trilogy, the novel, Broken and the novella, Duty of Care. Lisa also has a story in the anthology, Hook & Ladder 69. The author lives in Melbourne, Australia.

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About Writers, blogging, book promotion, book reviews, book sales, inspiration, publishing, Uncategorized, Writers Co-op

It’s a Community

above: Terry Pratchett 1948-2015 By Artist ‘Sandara’

One of the advantages of joining a community of like-minded people on the ‘Net is the likelihood of meeting someone totally unlike yourself. That is always good for a writer. I can’t draw an expressive crooked line. But Sandara can create a whole world in one image. Her visualization of Terry Pratchett shaking Death’s hand is fresh, striking and memorable. Don’t we writers wish all our stories were that good?

Amazing, the talents in the writing community: Publishers, editors & marketing people of course. Cover artists, beta readers, blurb writers, personal assistants and reviewers are some more. I’m sure I’ve left out important categories. No writer has all of the talents needed for a successful book. Hence, the usefulness of belonging to a writing community. Want to know the best print-on-demand service out there right now? Ask.

And best of all is the feedback. Excellent services at reasonable prices receive as much publicity on a writers’ forum as do services that waste your time and money. Think you have a really good idea for marketing your book? Ask and see if anyone has already tried that. Not sure of your book cover? Post it for comments.

Finally, always return favors. While I do owe her one, the real reason I recommend Sandara Tang here is her art. Take a look at some. It will surprise your imagination.

The Art Of Sandara
https://sandara.deviantart.com/ (best Hi-Res images)
https://www.facebook.com/ArtofSandara3/

Who have you worked with that you would recommend to other writers?

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Time To Choose

chooseWe have had many suggested titles for our new section, wherein we allow authors, editors, publishers and professional members of the writing community at large to recommend books. There are three common threads running through the titles suggested here and on Facebook: people like clarity, catchy and enthusiasm.
For pure clarity, it’s hard to beat “Recommended Reading.”
While “Peer Picks” is short and catchy.
And “I Love This Book” is highly enthusiastic.

So, which of the three will communicate best with the widest possible audience? They’re all good.

Last chance, pick one:
1. Recommended Reading
2. Peer Picks
3. I Love This Book

Please vote in the comments section. And, thank you all for your great suggestions!
(For the record, I liked “Hey, Good Bookin'” for the grins 🙂 but it didn’t make the final cut.)

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book promotion, book reviews, book sales, Uncategorized, Writers Co-op

Name This!

Cool LukeWhat we have here is failure to communicate. The word “Review” communicates negative reactions to many authors. Not the least of which is the certainty that all reviews cannot be good reviews. True, that. So, after listening to the gnawback, it’s obvious that we need a better name for our new section than, “Peer Reviews.”

We need a name that says here are books well received by the authors’ peers. The purpose of the new section is to have a place for recommendations by other authors, editors, publishers and professional members of the writing community at large.

The following names have been suggested, but please use the comments section to add more names.

Books We Like
I Like This Book
I Love This Book
Insider Picks
Peers’ Picks
Recommended Reading

What’s your suggestion?

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Peer Review Page

 

whispersWhat People Think
Our “proto-work-in-progress” page is up. I posted, on Facebook, a link & invite to comment on the concept. Many think it’s a great idea, some want to contribute now, others are clearly confused by my use of the word “review” and one has a fantastic idea for anyone selling books on Amazon. Here’s a sampling of the initial reaction to the concept.

Sharon Sasaki: I think it would be good if writers review other writers with some kindness and encouragement in mind. Sometimes authors can be extremely critical of other authors.

Bill McCormick: I have a set of reviews I’ve already done that could easily be retrofitted into your format. Would you like those?
(Added as author for posting reviews.)

Mike Van Horn: Seems like a great idea in principle. But I have problems with reviewing books of people I know. What if I review your book and I don’t like it? I don’t think it merits 5 stars? Maybe 3. What if I review your book and I find typos and other glitches? All too common with self-pubs. I have an inner English teacher, and she grades down for these things. I told somebody on the Sci Fi forum yesterday she needs to hire a copy editor. Some people need critiques before they get reviews.

Carlos Morales: And make sure you sign up to be an affiliate, and use affiliate links. There isn’t much money in it, but it’s like playing the lottery. There’s a tiny chance that someone clicks on the book, then decides to buy a $900 computer with their next couple of clicks. If that happens, you pull a decent commission.
It’s happened to me once or twice. Someone bought a $175 tent, and another one bought a laptop for $600 in the same couple of hours during one of my Bargain Promos. It was a good day for revenue.

Thanks all, for the great feedback! As these samples are from a mere 24-hour posting, I think we have a concept worth pursuing. But if we want the writing community to contribute reviews of books they recommend, we may need to re-think our title for the section. Some in the community have been bitten by a “peer review” and many rightfully expect reviews to be negative as well as positive.
We will get more reviews of books recommended by the writing community if we are very clear that is what we are looking for.

Any suggestions for a better title than, “Peer Review?”

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