One star reviews are no anomaly to any book or author. Yes, they are a hit to the stomach, but it's important to remember that it's part-and-parcel of being an author.
At the moment I can't speak from experience on the matter, but I am anticipating my first one star review to arrive at any given moment. I'm not expecting it because I believe my work is trash, rather I'm expecting it because I know every author receives at least one one-star review in their lifetime.
Yes, seeing that wretched one star and reading the associated comment can be a big downer, but it happens to us all. You'll be hard pressed to find an author who doesn't have any one star reviews (if you do manage to, please pass on a link to me). Our work simply can't be well received by everyone. We'd love it to be, but it just doesn't happen.
Here are a few suggested strategies to help deal with it:
This isn't exactly new news, but it is for my blog...I'm all about helping other authors, so I recently decided to dedicate one page of my website to helping promote other YA books and novelists. Essentially, the page features a list of YA reads from independent authors; or 'Recommended Reads'.To have your book featured on the page (for free), simply send through a 'Recommended Reads' submission here.Due to having had some people get narky at me because I've either found their submitted book not quite appropriate, or not of the correct genre, I thought I would say this upfront; I select the books I deem most appropriate to my website. If I don't think the book is appropriate, or if I feel there would be little value in listing your book here, I won't. Plain and simple. It would be ludicrous to list an adult book here. The predominant demographic that visits this website consists of children and young adults. Just because a submission form is completed does not mean your book is guaranteed inclusion on the page.So, please do not feel I'm 'having a go' at your book just because I don't include it. I am not dismissing it based on the merit of the book. I am dismissing it because I know nothing will come of it here. Therefore, I ask that you do not badger me about not having included your book. It doesn't make me feel overly great, and in all honesty, it doesn't make you look very professional.To Children and YA authors, please do send through your submissions. I will happily look them over and place them on the age if I find them fitting. Remember, it's FREE, and I do not ask for anything in return. In fact, I have placed an order for some of them myself!Happy reading to you all!Bye for now :)
If you've been looking into independent publication, you may have already decided that you'd like to see your book in print. If that's the case, you've probably already researched the major Print on Demand (POD) companies; Lulu, CreateSpace and Lightning Source. There are others - these are just the "big three".
Having tried all three out, I can most definitely vouch for one. Which one? If I told you now, it would spoil the rest :p
- Fairly straight forward publication process
- Easy to order
- Customers can buy directly from Lulu via your own "store"
- Poor quality (very - from personal experience)
- Slightly low on the royalties
- Some products have an "amateurish" feel and look about them
Ugh... I cringed as I wrote that, too!
It's been brought to my attention that whatever I seem to post here falls upon deaf ears, but that's never stopped me before. If there is anybody who is reading this, leave a comment saying hi. I'd love to hear from you! :)
Back to what I came here for... I believe I may have developed a 'novel' idea (sorry!) for a children's picture book. It would remain a 'fantasy' theme, but one that many children could relate to. You see, being a teacher I have a good understanding of what goes on inside the minds of children (or at least, I think I do).
I know it's diverting from what I have always been planning, but it's exciting nonetheless. Whether or not anything will ever come of it, I cannot say. One significant hurdle I am facing is the fact that I am no illustrator... at all! For now, I am unsure as to how I would leap this one. I'm not sure if I even can. But I know there is a story there waiting to be told. I guess another, slightly shorter hurdle would be how I would go about getting it published. I am well aware picture books are almost never accepted by large publishing houses. Having it independently published through Lightning Source may be an option, I guess, but that in itself poses more problems. I don't envision picture books being great sellers as an ebook, leaving paperback and hardback as the most reasonable medium to tell this tale...
Anybody out there with experience in writing a picture book and having it illustrated, I would love to hear from you. You may be able to answer my unending list of questions. Please leave a comment :)
Bye for now!
ALTOR: The Shadow Rebellion (The Chronicles of Ageron)
3 paperback copies to giveaway!
Two new editions for ALTOR: The Shadow Rebellion (The Chronicles of Ageron) have been released. The latest editions feature a matte cover in both a paperback and hardback binding. To purchase the latest editions, look for ISBN 9780987368621 (Paperback) or ISBN 9780987368638 (Hardback).All editions can be sourced at most leading book stores, some of which can be found from this page. Alternatively, copies can be purchased directly through this website. Please visit our 'Buy Now' page.
Much has been said about writing a book being the easiest part of the publishing process. Truer words have never be spoken.
Promoting your self-published title is indeed one of the more difficult aspects of seeing your work into print. Across the many discussion boards that are relevant to the field of publishing, you will find a plethora of questions and complaints regarding how to successfully market your title. Often, these authors claim to have done everything they possibly can to market their books to their intended audience. However, with an overwhelming number of advertising opportunities and marketing avenues, 'the sky is the limit'.
Firstly, get yourself on all existing social media sites. Open a 'fan page' on Facebook, a Twitter account, start a blog, a website and get yourself on Goodreads.com and Shelfari. How can you expect readers to find you if you don't make your online presence as visible as you possibly can? Retweet any tweets about your book, but don't make all posts about you or your book. Have conversations. Participate. Get involved.
Secondly, the several book promoting services across the various social networking sites. Although with honourable intentions, such accounts will be of little benefit to you. There is a slight chance that they may help, but by how much can never be foreseen; much like any other marketing venture. The reason this style of 'marketing' will see little return is due to the very nature of the accounts. They are primarily an advertising source for other authors, and not targeted specifically to those whom you wish to target - readers. Readers will not often follow a book marketing account. This is not to say that they don't, because they do, but just how many readers are dwelling amongst those many thousand followers will remain unknown. If payment is required for such services, I suggest you stay away, as their 'following' may be comprised of a significant number more authors than readers. If services are offered for free, then what harm is there in trying?
Also a misconception is that paying for advertisements on various websites will see to an increase in sales. If considering purchasing an 'ad space' to promote your works, think carefully of the nature of the website you will be advertising on. Advertising on a social networking site will be far less effective than promoting your book on a book review blog or website specific to your field or genre. For example, a young adult fantasy novel will see a far greater number of interested readers by advertising on a young adult book review blog or website than they would see on Facebook. It is vital to consider where your target audience lurks on the web that is worldwide. Essentially, make your paid advertising efforts targeted, or audience-specific. Hunt them down, and pull them in.
One of the greatest advertising tools you have available to you is that which review websites and blogs offer you. Its costs are minuscule, and the details of your book are presented to an audience specific to your genre. Send your book to as many book review websites or blogs that are specific to your genre. Offer free giveaways on Goodreads.com and your own website, and host competitions on what social media you have. This garners interest, and may lead to a small following. A following of any kind, small or large, is always a great thing!
Another great marketing tool is to find and participate in forums related to your book's genre. If your novel is a romance, look for forums related to romance novels and participate in discussions there. Don't post specifically about your book. Have details of it on your profile page, but do not mention your book in your posts. This may be seen as spam, and such thing is always frowned upon in any forum. For this very reason, you must keep your posts interesting and informative. All people who see interesting posts look further into the person who posts them. Thus, you can be sure that people will stumble upon your profile information and delve deeper into what you have to offer.
Apparently the greatest advertising tool open to any author is to keep writing. I am yet to experience this myself, having only released one book. It does seem the compelling point, though. My book is but one in a squillion, and for one person to stumble upon mine over all other books would take some miracle. And you've heard it before - 'the more, the merrier'!
Do you have any book-specific marketing experiences that you would like to share? If so, share it with the world by leaving a comment.
There are so many marketing options that I am hoping to further explore. I shall keep you all well informed of them as I delve into the great unknown that is marketing.
Complimentary copies of 'ALTOR: The Shadow Rebellion (The Chronicles of Ageron)' are available to selected people. To request a FREE digital or paperback* edition, please send through a request here
, including your preferred platform (kindle/iBooks/Nook/paperback*) and where the review will be posted.
If you are selected, you will receive a response within 48 hours of your initial request. The complimentary download
*Complimentary paperback editions are available only to recognised YA or fantasy reviewing websites or blogs.
I am currently in the process of changing printers for the first novel in The Chronicles of Ageron, ALTOR: The Shadow Rebellion, to, what should be, a much better alternative. It will still be some time until the new edition is available, but in the meantime the current option will remain just that.
Having lacked motivation to persist in writing the second novel (a culmination of a great number of reasons), I have begun contemplating a shift in the direction of it. Now, I won't reveal my initial vision for the series, as that would be equally as disastrous as a magician choosing to reveal their tricks, but I envision a change in the path that lies ahead for The Chronicles of Ageron. Whether or not that is for the better, and not the worse, I cannot say. Only time will tell. And if previous experiences are anything to go by, time not being the acquaintance I would choose it to be, the preceding steps may take quite a bit of it.
Either way, I will make every effort to deliver a sequel for you sometime soon, and I will keep you all posted each step of the way :)
Have you completed a manuscript, but are uncertain as to what publishing route to venture down? Have you ever thought of delving into the world that is self publish-dom?
Modern day publishing, being the multifaceted entity it is, can be a complex and somewhat stressful business to delve into. There are few safety nets, if any, and your success will only ever be as great as you allow it. However many success stories you discover, it is important to note that there are many, many, many more failed attempts. There are always a multitude more that fail to get anywhere, and it may not always be to their own doing. To garner success in the self-publishing world, you must be willing to do anything and everything you can to achieve it.
So, you have an unpublished manuscript you're hoping will be picked up by one of the big publishing houses? Or even a smaller one? The chances of being snapped up by a publishing house, of any kind, are minuscule. The large publishers accept only a very limited number of manuscripts per year, and for yours to be accepted as one of those, it must be literary gold. Your greatest chance is to submit your manuscript to as many literary agents as you can - one at a time, of course. If no agent displays interest, resort to submitting directly to publishing houses, as they will generally read a manuscript only once, and no more. If all else fails, and you decide you would still like to see your book in print, consider self-publishing.
Many authors are beginning to explore publishing on their own. There are many successful, traditionally published authors who have turned away from publishing houses, and have begun to self-publish their new titles. Not only do you have complete control over what happens to your 'baby', you generally have a far greater royalty rate to appreciate. The downside is that, for anybody to buy your book, YOU have to make them want to, which can be a most difficult and somewhat disheartening thing, if you go about it wrong. Marketing a self-published title will be dealt with in a later post. For now, we'll focus on the self-publishing process.
There are far greater avenues for self-publishing than many people realise. You can have your manuscript transformed into digital format (an ebook) at little-to-no cost. Digital book files (generally a .mobi or .epub file) can be submitted to the various ebook websites, such as Amazon's Kindle, Apple's iBookstore, Kobo, Barnes and Noble's Nook and Sony's Reader Store. To do so, you can either register directly to the websites and submit your properly formatted file, or you can use what is known as an aggregator, such as Smashwords, to have them convert your file into the appropriate file-type and submit each file to the major retailers on your behalf. Aggregators are, by far, the more convenient option, but they are not always the best path to take. More on that later.
If you want to see your book in print - and let's face it, we all do - then you can also do this yourself, often for free! We call this Print on Demand (POD). The leading POD companies are Amazon's CreateSpace and Lulu.com, both of which are free and easy to get started, and Lightning Source, which is a paid and more complex route, but more 'professional' (for lack of a better word). I have tried the two free options, and have signed up to try Lightning Source. I will keep you posted on how I go with Lightning Source.
From personal experience, I can vouch only for CreateSpace. The quality of my printed books were far greater with them than I experienced with Lulu. Everything about the CreateSpace copy feels professional - from the cover, to the pages themselves. I chose the 5x8" option with Creme paper. I advise against using white paper, as this has an amateur/novice appearance to it. In saying that, the creme paper CreateSpace use is not like that seen in published books from major publishing houses. This paper is thicker, and does not feel as flimsy. With Lulu, I received a poor quality book that fell apart within weeks of having received it - even though I did not read it! To top it off, the cover had a poor 'photo paper' feel and look about it, which was miles behind CreateSpace's cardboard laminate. In saying this, there are many happy with Lulu's quality - I just failed to see it in what I received.
Further posts will be made shortly, looking particularly at pros and cons of each POD, a 'how-to' guide, printing options, distribution and marketing, among other things. Let me know if you'd like to see anything in particular!
That's it from me... For now :)