All Aboard! #RRBC’s Holiday Block Party continues!

RRBCHBTP

Good Morning, everyone!

Let’s keep this train a’movin! Today’s trailers and authors…

A PERSONAL JOURNEY TO THE HEART OF TEACHING – Author, John Fioravanti

DAILY GIVEAWAYS:  (2) Autographed copies of A PERSONAL JOURNEY TO THE HEART OF TEACHING (US & Canada Winners only) & $10 Amazon Gift Card

12/4 – DEVILED – Author, Maureen Kovach

DAILY GIVEAWAYS(1) $5 Amazon Gift Card, (1) Autographed paperback of SUNNY SIDE UP & (1) e-book copy of DEVILED

Remember, reviews and comments are an author’s favorite friend. All you need to do is like the video (if you like it), and leave a comment. That’s it!

Have a great Friday!

~J

Advertisements

Trust your judgement

When you make the decision to become an Indie Author, you take on some pretty hefty responsibilities when it comes to your novel. For one, you may think that it’s more inexpensive and less time consuming than writing all the query letters to try and find an agent. I am telling you right now that you will have to spend countless hours doing your own promotion to help make your novel the success that it can be.

But, that’s not what this post is about.

When I first started out, I made the decision to do my own cover design. After all, I am pretty good with PhotoShop and I was confident with my skills. It took a few bits of trial and error to get it tweaked and set up how I liked it. It had elements from my story right there on the cover and, in my mind, was perfect.

Then reality set in. And that harsh reality is that people really do judge a book by its cover.

I found myself even doing it without realizing it. When I browsed the free Kindle books (my weakness is Military Romance Suspense novels, go figure), if there wasn’t something on the cover that caught my eye, I didn’t even look at the description. It’s not fair, I’ll be the first to admit it, but it’s the truth.

I have been reading a book series lately while I wait for my second book to go through its proofreading stage. I reached out to the one of my new favor authors, Lisa Ladew, and asked her where she had her cover art done. (Be sure to check out the first four books in her Edge of the Heat series that got me hooked here: www.amzn.com/B00Q4YAJL6. If you don’t want to commit to four, the first one if free here: www.amzn.com/B00HYEMAFI. Highly recommend!). Being the awesome and helpful person that she is, she told me that her cover art is done by http://www.stunningbookcovers.com. Unfortunately, They aren’t taking on new clients at this time, so out into the world of Google and Twitter I went.

I just want to mention that if you aren’t using the world of Social Media to its full advantage, you are really missing out. Not only are there other Authors out there that will be happy to answer questions for you and help you out, but it’s a fantastic resource.

After some searching and price comparing, I settled on http://ebookindiecovers.com. I was lucky enough to find one of her pre-made covers that fit my needs perfectly. She got back to me quickly and within an hour, I had a new cover for my novel for Kindle. I asked her if she would be able to use one of the models for the series since the second one was coming out, and she was able to quote me the price. I can’t tell you how happy I am.

The bottom line is this… while it will save you some money in the short term to do some things yourself, there is no question that having a professional do it for you is worth the money. If you question if you should change something, even a small detail, trust your gut. I had been on the fence for a while on the cover and I’m happy I finally did it. Now, I just wish I had done it sooner. Please see the before and after pictures below.

Old Cover         New Cover

Old Cover                                               New Cover

Please feel free to leave me a comment and let me know what you think below.

Happy writing!

~J

Self-Promotion and Marketing: My new dirty words

Those things, yuck!

I’ll admit, I thought going the self-publishing route and being an Indie Author was going to be awesome. While it has been very “freeing” and given me total control of everything with my novel, from the cover art, editing, proofing, and end cost of my novel…it has been exhausting to just get the word out and get my novel into reader’s hands!

For one thing, no one on Amazon wants to even take a look at my novel unless it meets one of two criteria.
1. It has reviews. And I will tell you from experience that it is nerve-wracking to wait for the first reviews to come in. At this point, I want anything. Reviews and feedback, I’m hungry for them!
2. Free. People love free stuff! I ran a promotion on Amazon where the Kindle version was free for five days and it “sold” almost 150 copies world wide. There was no small measure of pride to see that two copies were downloaded in Austrailia! But still, it had to be free for it to happen in the first place.

I’ve blasted it on twitter. Not annoyingly so, at least I hope not. That’s one of the things I’ve been careful about. You certainly want to promote yourself on social media, but not to the point that you are constantly “shouting” it. I’m going by the breakfast, lunch, and dinner mentality. Also, I say other stuff as well. I like to put little inspirational things up on twitter, keep people pumped up about writing and just make people feel good. It doesn’t cost me anything and I like to leave things better than I found them.

I also found this Giveaway tool that Amazon has. You pick a “lucky” number, you pay for the taxes, shipping + handling, and people basically do a lottery to try and get a copy of your book sent to them. The kicker is that they have to follow you on twitter. Amazon sends you the email with a button to post it to your twitter with a hashtag and you’re all set. My inbox exploded! I did a lucky number of 25 with 3 books. Man, did I shoot too low on that one. But, 3 more people will have my book and I will, fingers crossed, have some more fans. All in all, it’s a great tool to use.

~J