New Book Promo Group For Speculative Fiction Authors

I noticed a lot of fantasy/scifi and other book discussion groups have a strict ban on advertising your own indie/small press books and the existing book promo groups are flooded with erotica and self help stuff. Indie and small press authors are having a hard time promoting their books around. How are they supposed to get the word out when every fantasy/scifi forum out there is shunning book promo?

There’s no place for speculative fiction authors to promote their books, so I created a Facebook group for promoting speculative fiction books. I established some rules to keep the group from turning into a link spam dumpster. You need to do an elevator pitch and let the people know why they should buy it and what’s special about it.

The group is public and open to everyone, feel free to join and invite your friends. Readers and bloggers who want to discover new books are welcome. Here is the link: https://www.facebook.com/groups/145536759169502/

Utilizing Google Plus To Promote Your Books and Blogs

Today I am going to share one of my book promo tricks: The Google Plus communities allowing blatant self promotion. I have compiled the following list a few months ago. Those allow promoting your own books and blog links. For authors, it works best if you have a discount deal going on. I have seen significant rank boosts on self pub titles after promoting in those groups. This will not only benefit the indies but tradpub authors, bloggers and reviewers too.

My advice is don’t just copy paste the link and blurb, but write up a short summary info to draw the interest of potential readers, make it sincere and add the link in the end. They will read the official blurb in the preview and when they click the link.

Some of the groups have specific sections for the type of posts (book links, blogs, author infos etc) on the left menu list, make sure to read & respect their rules and post in the appropriate section.

I hope this will help some struggling authors and bloggers out there.

Writers, Authors, Bloggers 35,089 members

Google Plus Book Club 37,003 members

Kindle & eBook Writers And Reviewers 6,895 members

Authors – Blatant Promo 4 Writers, Blogs! 6,829 members

Support-a-Writer 6,085 members

Readers Meet Authors And Bloggers 6,740 members

Promote Your Book! 9,999 members

Love 2 Read 1,542 members

Kindle Ebook Promoter 2,568 members

Indie Authors & Readers 7,233 members

Indie Readers & Writers 10,335 members

Self promotion for Authors 4,457 members

Book Bloggers, Book Worms and Book Reviewers 3,623 members

Books, Blogs & Give-Aways 4,495 members

Writers’ Corner 32,226 members

Books – The Passion for Reading 6,010 members

Book Reviews 10,500 members

Book Club 19,951 members

Book Publicity 3,329 members

Writers of Google+ 7,348 members

Book Reviewers 13,274 members

NOTE: Removed one of the groups since I am informed it no longer allows book promotions and intended for discussions only.

How To Become a Goodreads Power User

I just stumbled upon this awesome article and wanted to share it with you guys. The strategy is great and bound to be successful if you take the time to do the things listed there. Half an hour everyday should do the trick. Goodreads is a great platform for promoting books and I think this article provides an excellent game plan for getting your books noticed.

Link to the article

A Challenge For Book Bloggers

UPDATE: Volunteer bloggers have been found!

International best selling fantasy author Mark Lawrence came up with a brilliant idea and posted it in his blog. Quoting form his original post:
“Who knows how many Name of the Winds or [fill in your favourite] are lost to us because they just couldn’t be seen? None? A hundred?

So here’s my idea. It relies on the labour of others and so it could fizzle and die right now. But let’s see.

I know that many bloggers are very fast readers. Some read over 200 books in a year.

My proposal is to get X of these bloggers to volunteer to become ‘agents’. (X will be 10 or fewer).

Each blogger is assigned 25 self-published books, randomly selected from a list of volunteer authors.

These bloggers are NOT expected to read all of these books. Their task as ‘literary agents’ is to select the single book they want to put their reputation behind and “publish” into the next round of the exercise.”

Here is the link to the original post where you can find the details to sign up: http://mark—lawrence.blogspot.fi/2015/02/the-self-published-blogger-challenge.html

Naturally I signed up, let’s see if I can put myself in the shoes of the literary agents and read the slush pile. This will sure be an interesting challenge!

Are you in?

Indie Authors Beware: They Are Pirating Paper Copies of Your Books

Author Jo Robins warns us about a new form of book piracy in her eye opening blog post. I was seriously disturbed to read this , apparently the intellectual property thieves don’t just pirate the ebooks but paper books too. They print the hard copies at cheap small cafe presses and sell them cheaper than the Amazon price by marking up the shipping cost. Some of them offer free shipping, perhaps they use small presses in poor countries to cut down the costs or use very low quality recycled paper, I really have no idea.

What’s certain is they are pirating indie books left, and and center and this dirty theft is done by some top rated power sellers on ebay who sell MILLIONS of books. Jo reports that she has seen indie books in their listings. You need to stay vigilant and report the copyright infringements to Ebay immediately. Ebay recommends you’ll need to participate in their Verified Rights Owner (VeRO) Program. To join the VeRO Program, you will need to fill out a Notice of Claimed Infringement (NOCI) form for the listings of your books you find and report for copyright violation. Ebay will remove those listings and the sellers will hopefully take a hit and learn better.

Author and blogger friends please help me inform the community by spreading this post far and wide. Indie authors are not rich people, many of us are struggling to make ends meet and it’s extremely disturbing that the pirates are selling more of our books than we do, imagine you sell 10 copies on Amazon but the pirates sell hundreds of your books and pocketing the money while you are struggling out there. It’s hurting both your revenues and your Amazon ranking. Let’s spread the word and inform all indie authors we know.

Jo Robinson

Something’s got me seriously confused. I saw a post about getting your books taken down from some pirate sites, so as a matter of interest I googled mine again, and found that not only has African Me been loaded on to heaps more torrent sites for free or paid download, but that now Shadow People has joined the pirate party as well. The thing that’s got me wondering is that they’re both being offered on ebay too as paper books. I stopped looking after four different sellers there. (Click on pics to see them bigger)

African Me Satellite TV Robinson Jo 1492719102   eBay.png1

At first I thought it could be a reader selling them second hand, but when I had a proper squiz I saw that they’re being offered as brand new/unopened. The sellers have multiple copies too – ten each mostly in stock, and they’re selling them for less than what Amazon’s charging for them.

Shadow People The Finding Robinson Jo   eBay

I looked…

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A great article for authors on critiques and reviews

I would like to share this great article by author Massimo Marino for the authors who are new to the beta reading/critique business. It’s full of sound advice and features a really nice template tool for handing out to the beta readers. I am definitely going to use this when my WIP is completed and ready for beta reading/critique phase.

You can read the article and see the critique template here:

http://massimomarinoauthor.com/reviews-critiques/

Conclusions from Author Earnings, January 2015

Rather interesting numbers, thanks to Nicholas for sharing!

* 33% of all paid ebook unit sales on Amazon.com are indie self-published ebooks.

* 20% of all consumer dollars spent on ebooks on Amazon.com are being spent on indie self-published ebooks.

* 40% of all dollars earned by authors from ebooks on Amazon.com are earned by indie self-published ebooks.

Nicholas C. Rossis

You may remember that I study Hugh Howey’s and Data Guy’s quarterly Author Earning Reports religiously, so that I can offer you the highlights. The Passive Guy alerted me to the January 2015 report (if you don’t already subscribe to his free newsletter, The Passive Voice, I urge you to do so – he’s one of the greatest resources for publishing-related information I have found so far).

Now that everyone’s been properly credited for their hard work, what nice things can we gleam from the latest report?

Gimme the Highlights

  • AuthorEarnings reports analyze detailed title-level data on 33% of all daily ebook sales in the U.S.
  • 30% of the ebooks being purchased in the U.S. do not use ISBN numbers and are invisible to the industry’s official market surveys and reports; all the ISBN-based estimates of market share reported by Bowker, AAP, BISG, and Nielsen are wildly wrong.
  • 33%

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How Amanda Hocking sold 1.5 million on Amazon: I’m revealing the secret!

You might have heard of Amanda Hocking, the indie superstar who sold 1.5 million on Amazon and got picked up by a big house and signed a movie deal for her Trylle Trilogy.

This is the exact quote from her explaining how her sales exploded after the book bloggers spread the word:

Then in June, something truly magical happened. I discovered book bloggers. I had no idea such people existed. They just read books and write about them. And I don’t mean “just.” These people take times out of their busy lives to talk about books and have contests and connect with followers and writers and other readers.

These guys are honestly my heroes. I’m a little in love with all of them.

I asked several if they would be interested in reviewing my books, and most of them said yes, even if they didn’t generally review self-published work.
Then something surreal started happening. My books were selling. Like, really selling.

Here is the whole story in her own blog: http://www.hockingbooks.com/an-epic-tale-of-how-it-all-happened/

She mentioned she owes her great success to book bloggers in many interviews as well. So, many indie authors took the cue and started flooding book bloggers with review requests. But the thing is, she didn’t approach the book bloggers, she asked people to review her book in her own blog. She started blogging in 2009 and had been very active. She talked about herself, her life, her books. She interviewed indie authors on her blog. She published a load of books on Amazon, and answered the questions of her readers. She also talked a lot about movies and music. She interacted with people and wrote in a very sincere manner, as a friend. She built a reader base over the months, ran giveaway contests, did author interviews and promoted other authors.

This is the blog post where she asked the book bloggers and Amazon reviewers to review her new book: http://amandahocking.blogspot.fi/2010/07/switched-free-books.html

Look at the comments. Dozens of people said they are interested in receiving a review copy. They asked for it. So she didn’t go around pestering book bloggers, she already had a whole bunch of them among her followers and she got them interetested. After these people reviewed her new book on their blogs, Amazon and Goodreads, her book sales have exploded and avalanched from there.

I think as indie authors we all have a lot to learn from Amanda Hocking’s experience. There really is no secret recipe to it: Be active in the blogger scene and the social media, interact with people, write sincere posts, write about your life, write like you are writing a letter to your friends. Write comments to other bloggers. Find the people who are reading your genre and interact with them, but refrain from promoting your book. Promote their blogs, their books, do author interviews featuring other indies in your blog, be a nice person. Chat with other authors and bloggers on social media, ask how their day has been, what they are reading, actually care about people (this comes natural to me cause I’m an extrovert and very friendly by default, but it’s really not a hard thing to do!) You have nothing to lose and everything to gain. You will meet some awesome new people in the book scene and make friends.

If you act like a human being and not a spam bot, people will eventually ask to review your books. I myself would rather promote a friend than a stranger. I promote the books of people who are nice to me on Twitter and help me out in my writing journey. Not even one of them asked me or offered ARC copies, I purchased all of the indie books I review or plan to review soon. I wanted to be nice and I believe in supporting indie authors, so I purchased the books of the indie authors I have befriended and I review them as I read. If a friend offers an ARC and asks for reviews, I will drop everything else and give their book the first priority. If a random stranger contacts me for a review, they will wait for a long time. That’s basic human psychology.