Top Five Blogging Hazards

A great post by Tricia Drammeh!

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Calling Authors: Anthology Time!

The Legends of Ol’ Man Wickleberry

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Ol’ Man Wickleberry, rest his soul, died in the 1920s, attacked by a bear…or was it a zombie? I heard he was rabbit hunting…or was he prospecting? Or maybe he was defending his cabin from wild squirrels? At least we can all agree he died in northern Michigan – or did he? Maybe he was in California and his body was brought back to his family, and so now his ghost walks the beaches of lake Huron. Or maybe he spends his everafter trolling guests at a vacation lodge, or interrupting writers who stay up too late, or…

That’s the trouble with Ol’ Man Wickleberry, there are just too many legends! Heck, we’re not even completely sure when he died! In an effort to find the truth, Book Born, in conjunction with the Ink Slingers League, has decided to gather those legends into a single volume – an anthology if you will – where the proceeds benefit the Book Born 2017 Retreat Fund.

AUTHORS:

1) You do NOT have to be a “published” author to join us! Even if you’ve never published before – whether indy, self, or traditional- you can still submit a story

2) All stories must be between 1,000 words and 10,000 words.

3) All stories must be about Ol’ Man Wickleberry. They can be in his PoV, or anyone else’s – someone he is haunting, his dear old mother, whatever you can think of. They can be about how he met his end, or they can be about his ghostly afterlife (though they should at least mention what led to his grisly demise).

4) Stories can have adult components (such as language or violence) but please no erotica or heavily sexual stories. Ol’ Man Wickleberry doesn’t seem like the type to be gettin’ it on.

5) You MUST have a Smashwords author account. Smashwords’ rules, not mine. You don’t have to sell any books on Smashwords to make this account – it’s free and easy – but you have to have one for us to link to in the metadata.

6) We don’t guarantee any editing, so make sure you’ve done it before you submit. If a story has a lot of typos or errors we will reject it. We will also not update your story later. If you write a “better” version or a new author bio, or anything else. Once it’s published, it’s published, so make sure it’s the way you want it before you submit it.

7) You will NOT be paid. Though the anthology will be for sale, all proceeds will go to the Book Born 2017 Expo & Retreat Fund. This fund helps offset the cost of the first ever Book Born Expo and annual Book Born Retreat, which is currently set for October 2017 (pending finalization). If you’d like more information on either, please join the Book Born Facebook group where more it will be posted.

8) We do NOT require exclusive rights. It’s your story, and if you want to publish it elsewhere, go ahead. However, because there is money involved I will send you a basic contract that just says yes we have the right to use it and no, you know you’re not getting paid. You can get a copy of the contract here – it’s a word document, so please fill your info in and include it with your story. You must sign the contract for the story to be used.

9) All entries are due by January 1st, 2017. This gives us a month to compile the anthology and have it ready for a February 1st release on Smashwords, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, etc.

9) Cover, formatting, etc. will be provided by the Ink Slingers.

10) The only file types accepted will be .doc, .docx, .txt, and .rtf. We will NOT accept .pdfs.

11) Send your short story of no more than 10,000 words to joleene(at)joleenenaylor.com and include:

  • the signed contract as a separate attachment
  • your smashwords link
  • your author name and story title
  • a short blurb/synopsis of the story
  • your author bio
  • your website or blog link (optional)
  • a short blurb/synopsis of another work available for download (optional)

If you have any questions, please leave them here or drop me a line at Joleene(at)JoleeneNaylor.com.  Thanks and I’m looking forward to what you come up with.

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The Secret to Making Tons of Money as an Author.

Everyone’s journey is different and I ask only that you keep comments respectful and don’t point fingers and make the “Well, if only you would do X” comments. the point of this post is not to give people promotion ideas, it’s to remind the struggling authors out there that most of us are also struggling and you’re not alone and you should not judge your self worth – or even the worth of your writing – on whether you make a lot of money or not, nor should you get discouraged and feel hopeless because you’re not “good enough”. You ARE good enough. Your book is good enough. And half of those people you think are selling millions of books, really aren’t, anyway.

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The secret to making tons of money as an author is: There is no secret.

Yeah, that’s right. There’s no “If you just do X you’ll make it big.” It’s not just about marketing, it’s not just about a good book, it’s not just about great writing, it’s also about luck.

Otherwise 50 Shades of Gray would never have been big.

I got into a discussion on Facebook today where I tried to explain that to a fellow author who was feeling down about her lack of success (with only one book out, I think she’s doing pretty good if she’s sold so much as one copy to a stranger. I only sold 25 my first four months, all to people I knew), but of course that explanation was met (by someone else) with the same old same old:

“If you just do this, this, and…

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Smashwords Author Alerts

Smashwords has added an awesome new feature: Smashwords Alerts. When readers sign up, Smashwords will send them an email alert whenever the authors they’re following publish something new.

To send alerts an author doesn’t need to do anything; they just happen, thanks to Smashwords’ system. To follow and author, readers need to log into their Smashwords account at http://Smashwords.com, then find their favorite author’s page. On the left side, under users who’ve favorited the author,there’s a button to favorite the author and one to subscribe to author alerts. Right now Smashwords has automatically subscribed readers to all their favorited authors, but they can go in and unfollow.

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But what if your readers don’t buy books from Smashwords? What if they like Barnes and Noble, or Amazon better? I can’t speak for all authors, but when I publish a book or story on Smashwords, I also publish it on Barnes & Noble, Amazon, Apple, Kobo, and all the others, so an alert from Smashwords would still let readers know that a new story was out there, waiting for them on their platform of choice – and I wouldn’t need to harvest their email addresses or send that notification manually.

In a business that increasingly sucks time for promotions, networking, newsletters, and more, any little thing can help! I’m encouraging all my readers to sign up for the alerts. whether they purchase from Smashwords or not, and hopefully that will save me some time and get the word out easier about new stories.

What do you think of the new alerts? As an author? As a reader? Are you planning to make use of them, or do you find it just more email for your inbox?

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Bookbub

As someone who has been curious about the whole BookBub thing, this is a very informative post.

SaffronGreyBlog

Not Sponsored!!!

Bookbub is a nice site that provides endless lists of ebooks on sale–or even free–for you based on your preferences. As a reader, this is a great free site to find your next favorite ebook.

But what if you’re an author? o_O

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#Authors – 60 (SIXTY) #FREE Invaluable Professional #Editing Articles Not to be Missed…

Chris the Story Reading Ape has hosted Professional Book Editor Susan Uttendorfsky, the owner of Adirondack Editing, for SIXTY (as in 6-0) articles on editing , grammar, and punctuation. There is some great information here, so I wanted to share it. Remember: you can never do too much editing, only too little!

Your Pick of Publishers

A great post by Tricia Drammeh with an important message. Just because someone is a great person and has the best intentions does not make them a great publisher. Writing is a business, so make your business decisions based on business, not on who your buddies are. Nothing can kill a friendship better than a business disaster.

Tricia Drammeh

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I’ve blogged about the topic of new and inexperienced publishers in the past, and for those of you who are regular followers of my blog (and probably sick of reading my lectures about using caution when seeking a publisher), I apologize. For those of you who are new here and might be new to writing, I hope I can help you make an informed choice when it comes to making decisions about publishing your book.

I recently read a post by a Facebook acquaintance who is setting up her own publishing company. She’s a very nice lady. From what I can tell, she seems very honest and dedicated. She’s written several books, has organized book signings, and even has her own online radio show. She has many admirable qualities. Unfortunately, I wouldn’t trust her with my books. Not in a million years.

This nice, dedicated, determined lady has almost no…

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How to Add a Mailchimp Newsletter to Wordpress.Com Blog – with Style!

I had a blog like this on my list of blogs to write, but she has done such a good job I don’t see any point in rehashing it. In this blog she tells you not only how to get the mail chimp (newsletter sign up) form on your blog, but also how to MAKE the form in the first place using Mail Chimp’s site. As a Mail Chimp user, I do recommend them (no, they don’t pay me!) as being simple to use.

Aniko Carmean

The true gift of having a clearly defined definition of success is that you begin to find exactly what you need to achieve that success. I discovered  YOUR FIRST 1000 Copiesby Tim Grahl exactly when I needed a guide for book marketing. I want to get the word out about my books, and I want to do it without being subservient to a cumbersome system I neither understand nor enjoy. Grahl gives me a blueprint to achieve that, and having a newsletter is an integral element in his system. In this post, I share what I’ve learned about setting up a Mailchimp newsletter and integrating it into your (free) WordPress.com blog.

Here are the main points I will cover:

  • Getting started with Mailchimp
  • Customizing Your Mailchimp sign-up form to coordinate with your WordPress.com blog
    • Use Google’s built-in developer tools to find the hexidecimal code for colors on your site
    • Set the font or…

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Places for Author Interviews

A great way to get exposure is to appear on other people’s blogs – but where do you find blogs to appear on? There are a lot of bloggers looking for authors to interview (or guest post), but as an author they’re sometimes oddly hard to find unless you know someone who knows someone…so I wanted to share a few that I know about and I ask that you do the same in the comments.

  • Simon Goodson’s The Seventh Question: Six Questions, with the seventh being a question you get to ask yourself. Open to all but he prefers sci-fi/fantasy/speculative fiction.
  • Dan Alatorre: Choose ten questions from a list of forty. Open to everyone.
  • BookGoodies: Fill out the online form including links and several questions. Open to everyone.
  • I Smell Sheep: Contact them about a guest post or interview. For paranormal/comics/sci-fi/fantasy/speculative fiction. (If there’s a hot dude in the story, even better!)
  • Awesome Gang: Fill out the online questions. Open to everyone.
  • Morgen with an E: There are a LOT of options here! The content that you submit must be PG (this does not mean your books, just what you write for her blog). Any genre authors welcome.
  • Wicca Witch: She’s on hiatus until January but when she’s back she does interviews and book reviews. Paranormal, romance, sci-fi, fantasy, speculative fiction, mysteries and thrillers preferred.
  • Zig Zag Timeline: Interviews, cover reveals, etc. All genres except erotica.
  • Sallie’s Book Reviews: She will send you the questions with your post date in an email. Cont. romance, paranormal, fantasy. mystery, poetry, historical romance and suspense.
  • Amaranthine Night: my own blog. I do author interviews or character interviews. All genres welcome.
  • The BIG List by Lisa Williams: Here is a list of 100 bloggers who do interviews. It opens as a google doc, but you can download it as a pdf etc.

Since the last link is a massive list, I’m going to stop here, but you shouldn’t! What interview opportunities do you know about? Please share them in the comments below!

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Amazon Lowers Unlimited Payments

no moneyI don’t personally have anything enrolled in Kindle Unlimited (or Kindle Select, or anything else exclusive), so I can only share what I’ve read.

Apparently Amazon has expanded the Unlimited subscription service (which normally allows subscribed readers to read as many enrolled ebooks as they want for the $9.99 monthly fee) to India where they are only charging $3.00 a month to subscribers, meaning that authors will make less on an enrolled book read in India than if the same book was read in the United States or another country. (I don’t have Amazon’s numbers but I would guess since the fee is roughly 1/3 the cost of the normal subscription, reads would be worth 1/3 as well – again, this is only a guess on my part.)

If you don’t have many Indian readers, you may shrug and say “so?” But the worry of many indy authors enrolled in Unlimited is “What’s to stop them dropping the price to $3.00 everywhere?”  And then cutting the author’s paycheck. This is of especial concern when 1/3 of ALL authors already make LESS than $500 a year. 

The effects could be farther reaching than just author’s Amazon paychecks. As books are devalued – worth less to readers who are used to getting them for free – sales drop on all platforms. I’ve personally seen several reviews on Amazon that state something to the effect of “Wait until the book goes free” – as if the reviewer “knows” that ALL books will eventually be free. Mark Coker of Smashwords (who posted a very good blog about the Unlimited effect) quoted Randolph Lalonde who despite getting good reviews on his $2.99 to $3.99 books has gotten angry mail from people demanding that he make his books free. 

Am I advocating jumping ship from Amazon? No. I don’t advocate abandoning ANY platform.

Exclusivity is a personal decision for an author, and while I refuse to ever do it, someone else may be happy that way – and that’s great. What I think is sad, however, is how many authors I’ve spoken to who AREN’T happy but feel like they have no choice. “Amazon is the biggest.” That’s true, but Amazon is only the biggest because we make them the biggest – not just as readers (quick, and be honest, where do you buy books at?) but as authors. When we list our links most of us (myself included) list Amazon first. We submit books to email lists that cater exclusively to Amazon links.  When we post a link on our twitter profile (or our tweets) we use the Amazon link rather than a personal webpage that has links to all retailers. And I know, if I’m in a hurry in an email message or Facebook comment, I will ONLY give someone the Amazon link because I think “It’s the biggest. Everyone buys there”. Much like reading Twilight, we’re all doing it because “everyone else is” – and everyone else is because that’s where all the links point – that’s where the top link is, that’s where we’re told is the best place to go – either literally or subliminally.

If you’re happy reading Twilight (and some people are – there’s nothing wrong with that!), then you should keep doing it – stay exclusive and post Amazon links everywhere. But, if you’re only doing it because “you have no choice” or “everyone else is”, remind yourself that you DO have a choice. Either way, go check out Mark Coker’s great article.