Prowess Publishing Blog For Indian Creative Writers
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Growing up is tough! There are so many life lessons to learn that it can be challenging for parents to satisfy their child’s wonder and explain things in terms they’ll understand. Fun and educational resources can be a great way to help kids learn more about their expanding world of new adventures and first experiences. Author Jeanne Bender discovered a great way to help children learn all about life lessons in her Lindie Lou Adventure Series. Children follow along with an adorable brown puppy named Lindie Lou as she experiences new things and shares learned lessons with young readers such as a visit to an organic farm.
The Story of Lindie Lou
Who is Lindie Lou and how did her story come to fruition?
Author Jeanne Bender was inspired to write the Lindie Lou Adventure Series from her own dog’s incredible journey. Lindie Lou, or “La Petite Lindie Lou,” traveled all the way from St. Louis to her forever home in Seattle with Bender. With encouragement from friends and family, Bender wrote the “Lindie Lou Song” and later began writing children’s books to help kids experience something new with each story.
Lindie Lou’s character is based on Bender’s beloved pup and possesses similar behavioral traits. She is friendly and greets everyone with a tail wag and a butt wiggle of excitement. Young readers learn through Lindie Lou’s adventures, which are based on true stories.
What was it like to meet Lindie Lou? How did your relationship grow?
Bender recalls waiting by the large storage area at the airport for the baggage and wondering what Lindie Lou would be like, and if she would be playful or flamboyant. She hoped Lindie Lou would be healthy and thought about the green eyes she had seen in online pics of her new pup. When Lindie Lou arrived, Bender was surprised that she had grown so much and was already nine pounds. Bender brought Lindie Lou home and a newfound friendship was formed.
“Lindie Lou never cried,” says Bender. “She always was in the moment, never left my sight, and absolutely loved the yard. She played with all of her toys and chased the ducks.”
What are some of the most important life lessons children will learn from Lindie Lou’s books?
There are typically about four lessons within each book. Each lesson is printed in red letters for readers to easily identify as they follow along in the stories.
Book 1, Flying High
Kids learn how to overcome their fears as Lindie Lou faces her own fear of being outside and flies in an airplane for the first time.
Book 2, Up in Space
As Lindie Lou settles into her new life in Seattle, she meets new friends and embarks on an adventure to the Space Needle. Readers learn the importance of caution and how certain adventures are too young to do all on your own.
Book 3, Harvest Time
When Lindie Lou travels to an organic family farm, she discovers a whole new way of life and helps readers learn how farm families help feed the world.
Who are some of the other characters in Lindie Lou’s stories?
Lindie Lou’s canine family characters were influenced by lyrics of the “Lindie Lou Song” and based off jewel names such as Topaz, Jasper, Ruby, and Diamond. An exception, however, is Lindie Lou’s mother, Molly, named after Bender’s sister’s dog.
Where are Lindie Lou’s next adventures going to take place?
The next adventure in Book 4, Big City Magic, will be based in New York as Lindie Lou tries to find her way through the Big Apple. She finds out there is a tree in Manhattan with apples the size of a human head! Big City Magic should be ready for readers in October or November.
In 2019, readers can follow along with Lindie Lou in Book 5, Ride The Wave, as she learns how to surf in San Diego and gets lost in Mexico. How will she find her way?
Pina Publishing plans to feature at least twelve books in the Lindie Lou Adventure Series. Each book includes clues and hints about the pup’s next adventure.
About the Author
What inspired you to become a children’s writer?
Jeanne Bender started writing stories in the second grade. As she later developed into an author, Bender wanted readers to experience something through her writing. She loves children and eventually wanted to write for kids.
How did you find the right words for young readers?
With the help of her sister and editor, Nancy Kiefer, Bender crafted books for an appropriate younger reading level. Research also helped Bender find just the right fit of word imagination to achieve maximum reader comprehension.
How did you meet your illustrator and graphic designer? And why were they the right choice for your books?
After the first designer of the Lindie Lou series didn’t work out, Bender didn’t give up and felt, “God would find a way.” She later found Kate Willows a few weeks later and Willows’ adorable illustrations were a great fit for Lindie Lou’s adventures. Graphic designer Susan Harring does the layout and cover designs for the Lindie Lou books, as well as the logo, poster, and bookmarks. Bender is thankful she ended up with her team and considers Pina Publishing as family.
What do you enjoy most about being a writer?
“Waking up excited every day to learn what the next adventure will be,” says Bender. She thanks God that she took this path and does not regret pursuing this career.
What is your favorite part of the writing process?
Bender’s favorite part of the writing process is “the adventure and imagination.” She enjoys how the characters develop on their own and the books take on their own personalities. “It’s a journey to the end,” says Bender.
How was the experience of holding a copy of your book for the first time?
When Bender received her first print books, she remembers screaming in excitement. At the time, she was at her sister/editor’s house. Both Bender and Nancy Kiefer shared the thrilling experience by hugging each other and jumping up and down. “It felt gratifying to hold the book after enduring more than fifty rounds of edits,” Bender stated. They even smelled the freshly printed pages!
They first showed the books to Kiefer’s husband, and then brought copies over to one of her neighbors. The sweet family with three kids had acted as beta readers during Bender’s writing process, helping to identify which words were too difficult for young readers in previous drafts.
Click here to learn more about the Lindie Lou Adventure Series.
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Metadata is everything when it comes to online shopping, and it’s no different with online bookstores. Book metadata is all the information about a book that helps describe the product to readers such as its cover, price, title, author, format, genre, keywords, ISBN, price, availability, reviews, territorial rights, etc.
These bits of information communicates to buyers the book’s characteristics. By viewing book metadata, they are able to differentiate one book from the next and ultimately find the perfect book without ever having to physically flip through its pages.
Optimizing your book’s metadata is vital for your book marketing. These details not only guide a reader to discover your book, but also help them decide to buy it.
I’ve previously discussed in depth what book metadata is and why it is so important. Now I’ll walk you through the process of filling out your metadata to optimize your book’s online success.
Getting Your Book DiscoveredISBN & Book Formats
The different formats of your book will each have a different ISBN. For example, if you offer paperback, ePUB, and Mobi, you need a different ISBN for each book version. Then, as you’re filling out the metadata, you need to specify which version you’re focusing on and input the correct ISBN for accuracy.
Title & Subtitle
This is simply the title of your book. It should be relatively simple and self-explanatory. Be sure to remain consistent across platforms and formats in terms of wording, capitalization, punctuation, etc. Determine the exact title and stick with it. Also, including a subtitle can provide more description for interested readers to further set your book apart.
When filling out your author name, it is again extremely important to remain consistent with the details. This improves the searchability and removes all potential confusion for readers. Use the exact same version of your name across all platforms. Meaning, if you choose to include your middle initial in your author name, it needs to be there every single time, not just occasionally.
For example, author of A Song of Ice and Fire, which inspired the Game of Thrones TV series, George Martin elects to use George R.R. Martin as his author name. You’ll notice that he includes the initials of R.R. everywhere. In fact, I would challenge you to try to find an example in an online bookstore where his name does not include the initials!
While we’re all taught at a young age not to judge a book by its cover, it’s still done regularly. The cover is typically a reader’s first impression when exploring a book. It ultimately has significant influence over their buying decision. So, by uploading the cover image, you’re adding a visual element to your book’s metadata. This not only catches a reader’s attention, but also gives them another clue about its contents. Upload the image of your cover as either a JPEG or PNG file.
Genres & Categories
Genres and categories allow you to get your book in front of the right people. This is how a reader can find a new book online when they aren’t searching for a specific title or author. Often times they will browse an online bookstore based on the stores’ listed genres, main categories, and subcategories. Accurately choose the genres and categories your book best fits into so the right people find it.
Be specific when selecting your book’s categories because it sets your book apart from many other books in the same genre. eBooks2go’s metadata form uses the standard BISAC categories. So, rather than vaguely identifying your book as a fantasy novel, you can instead specify that it’s a romantic fantasy with dragons and mythical creatures.
The keywords you use in your book’s metadata are the words and phrases you choose as the most important descriptors of your book. When people search for a book simply using words and phrases, their search is narrowed by the keywords associated with a book’s metadata.
When you are determining the most fitting keywords to use for your book, put yourself in the mind of readers. What are they searching for that best relates to your book? Use important story elements such as the time period, main character descriptions, and common themes and storylines.
You can even use Google Keyword Planner or other keyword finder tools to help you determine the most searched phrases relating to your book’s details.
Creating Book SalesBook Description
A book’s description is another metadata element online shoppers use to determine if a book seems like an enjoyable read. Spend time carefully crafting the perfect description of your book to capture a reader’s attention. Be descriptive without giving away too much.
It’s also important to include your book’s metadata keywords in its description. If a reader found your book because they searched for a Civil War mystery, then include that detail in your book description, otherwise you’ll risk losing their interest.
Include a description of who you are as an author and what inspired you along the way. How did you fall in love with writing? What else have you written? Are you working on anything for the future? What genre do you most enjoy writing? What have you accomplished? Your author bio is another opportunity to spark the interest of your readers and make them feel intrigued to check out your work. You never know who can relate to your author journey or how it will inspire them.
In your book metadata you’re able to specify your target audience, or the readers who will most enjoy your book. Defining your audience helps bookstores organize a book in their catalogue. Also, by including your book’s intended reader age range, the reader can determine whether it’s a fitting book for them. An adult may not want to read a teen thriller. However, a teenager needs to know this is an appropriate book for them.
Reviews & Awards
Have you garnered any editorial reviews or testimonials? Has your book received any awards, accolades, or other forms of recognition? Has your book been featured or highlighted by media sources? Reviews and awards can significantly boost your book’s credibility. Readers want to know what sets your book apart from others. The reviews and awards section of your book metadata gives them valuable insight to learn how your book is in fact different.
Optimizing Your Book Metadata
When libraries and readers are searching for new books, they rely heavily on book metadata. Your goal as an author is to translate the information to the bookseller (Apple, Barnes & Noble, Overdrive, etc.) as efficiently as possible. This is done through accuracy and consistency. When this process is optimized, the book becomes more discoverable making book sales more possible.
Book metadata continues to drive the success of authors. To create and sustain book sales, metadata is absolutely essential. When you use eBooks2go as your distribution partner, all your book’s metadata details are organized and managed in one location, simplifying the entire process, setting you up for success in the industry.
Nearly anyone with a writing dream can become an author in an increasingly self-published book world. Books are all about the journey your words take readers on, not so much on how a book came to be. Most readers don’t care about a book’s publisher. For a reader, it’s what’s on the inside that counts.
Forging your own book path is increasingly within affordable reach as self-publishing companies compete to help writers succeed. However, the challenges of DIY publishing can cause detours in your book’s path before it even begins if you don’t know where to start. Before sharing your book with the reading world, ask yourself these important questions and get started on the right page of self-publishing.
#1. Why did you write your book?
As an editor who also loves to write, I empathize with a writer’s journey to publishing. It doesn’t just take hard work and hours of pouring words onto pages to write a book. It takes passion, drive, and a special kind of courage to share your vision with the world. Every writer has something to say with their book, something they want to give their readers.
So what’s your book’s gift to readers? Maybe you wrote to inspire action by raising awareness about a critical social or economic issue. Perhaps you intended to provide readers with an escape into a fictional world of fantasy and magic. Whatever the source of your inspiration, your book’s goals should reach beyond best-selling success and financial gain. Of course you want your book to sell, but self-publishing authors often place too much emphasis on profit, losing sight of why they wrote in the first place. Remaining focused on your book’s intent is vital to understanding a reader’s interest in purchasing it. When you keep your writing mission in mind, you can develop a marketing strategy geared at reaching your desired readers.
#2. Who do you picture reading your book? Who will be buying your book?
This question is twofold, since a book’s pages speak not only to its readers, but also to its consumers. And these are not always one and the same. For example, a children’s book is written for young readers, but it’s often a parent, an aunt or uncle, or a grandparent who is actually buying the book. Likewise, a cookbook can be a gift from an experienced chef to an aspiring cook. It’s not just readers who discover your book, it’s also their loved ones as well. Writers need to ensure that their book is at their readers’ level of comprehension in terms of vocabulary, sentence structure and length, and also what sparks their readers’ interests. And you can bet a customer buying your book as a gift is also looking at these very same factors.
Thus, when you picture your reader, you must also picture your customer. What’s your intended age range of readers? What are their hobbies and interests? What avenues do they take to purchase your book? Self-publishing involves an analysis of your intended readers and consumers to better understand how they will discover your book, what their buying habits might be, and how they might share your book with other readers. Study your book’s readers and buyers so that you learn more than how to speak their language and get your book in their hands.
#3. What’s your self-publishing dream worth to you?
Self-publishing writers are often on a tight budget. You can make your budget stretch if you put your resources where they matter most. Knowing your book’s needs will help you find fitting resources, but choosing the right professional services can be challenging with a growing and competitive market of self-publishing companies and service providers. Of course you want to find the best publishing deals, but there are certain things you can’t afford to cut corners on such as cover design and editing. Books are absolutely judged by their covers and also by the words written on their pages. If you don’t invest in an eye-catching cover or in professional editing, your book might get passed by on bookshelves or overlooked in online bookstores.
Shopping around for the lowest priced services won’t ensure the best quality. You worked hard to write this book, pouring your creative energy into its pages. What’s your hard work worth to you and how much are you willing to invest in its success? Setting your own budget is a great aspect of self-publishing, but you’ll need to do some research to find the best service for your book’s needs and get the most out of your investment. If the price of a service seems a little high in your budget range, dig deeper and learn why it might be more expensive than others. What does that service provider offer that others don’t? And what you are willing to spend for a great quality book, inside and out? The great thing about self-publishing is that you get to decide, but make sure you do your book budgeting homework to make an informed choice. Talk with publishing professionals when you have questions—our passion is helping authors along their self-publishing journeys!
#4. Do you know what you don’t know?
What you don’t know can and will hurt your book’s success. This last question will most likely leave you with more questions than answers. However, it’s the first of many steps to really understanding what it takes to be a self-published author. You need to know what you don’t know and seek out the answers on your own in self-publishing. But that’s what self-publishing companies and service providers like eBooks2go are here for: to help you find the answers and teach you all you need to know to help your book grow.
So start with a few basics to learn what you need to know. You’ve taken the first step in even having the courage to write a book. Now you need to learn the rest of the steps to take your book from a rough draft manuscript and turn it into a shiny new book or eBook. Do you know all the steps toward publication? What are the stages in publishing and what is your author role in each of them? Understand the basic processes and stages of self-publishing in eBooks2go’s Self-Publishing Guide and learn what you don’t know.
Finding the Answers …
When you’re a self-published author, you are in control of your book’s journey to shelves. And this means you need to know what it takes to get it there and also be ready to put in the effort. Asking yourself these pressing questions is one step further along on your self-publishing path.
But you might be left with more questions than answers. Our Self-Publishing Guide has the answers to some of your most important questions and ones you may not have even thought of yet! A few of several topics included in the guide are:
The Self-Publishing Process
The processes and stages of self-publishing are highlighted step-by-step, with each aspect explained for the beginning self-published author.
Assessing Your Marketing Goals
Determine your book’s marketing goals to drive sustainable book sales. Learn the importance of choosing the appropriate marketing outlets and tactics for your book’s success.
Importance of Polishing Up Your Book
Put your book’s best foot forward by enticing readers with an attractive cover and error-free pages. Editing and cover design are just some of many services that can help polish up your book.
Visit our website today and check out eBooks2go’s resources that can help you on your self-publishing journey!
Growing up in the Chicago area, during Michael Jordan’s career, made me a huge basketball fan. Recently, the NBA playoffs kicked off, and it’s had me pretty excited. One of this season’s captivating storylines is the Philadelphia 76ers return to the playoffs. From 2013 to 2017 they were arguably the worst team in the league, losing a record 28 games in a row during one stretch.
During their period of losing, the general manager and many of the 76ers players adopted the saying, “Trust the process.” Even as they were losing at a historic rate and being criticized by everyone in the basketball world, the team stuck by their mantra and embraced the process of building up a winning team. They knew the results wouldn’t be immediate and it could take years to develop the right team before a winning culture returned.
Over the years they’ve hired the right coaches, drafted the right players, signed the right free agents, and ultimately remained patient. And this year they are finally seeing the results they’ve been promising their fans.
Why am I bringing this up?
Because book marketing also has a process. You won’t wake up one morning and all of a sudden your book is a bestseller. It’s a slow process that causes many authors to lose patience. But if all your marketing efforts are working towards the same goal and you continue to build your platform, eventually you will be rewarded.
So let’s get into the book marketing process …
Develop Your Marketing Strategy
Before you start marketing your book, you need a clear plan to guide your actions. Determine what separates your book from other books. The reality is, there are more books than ever available to readers, making it incredibly challenging for your book to stand out. But the good news is that you wrote your book for a reason. There is something different and unique about your book that no other book offers. So what is it? What makes it unique and why should people want to read it? Your answer is the key to your marketing strategy.
Identify Your Target Audience
Part of developing your strategy is identifying your target audience. In order to optimize the efficiency of your marketing strategies you need to know who you are trying to reach. If you wrote a young adult fiction, market to young adults. If you wrote a nonfiction about raising children as a single parent, market to single parents with young kids.
This seems obvious, but we often see authors assuming that anyone and everyone is potentially interested in their book. While theoretically this could be true, it’s not the most efficient way to use your time and money. When you narrow down your audience to only those most likely to be interested in your book, you’ll see better results.
Get on Social Media
Social media is all about connecting with people online. There will always be a ton of value in attending conferences and doing book signings, but your reach is limited to a local crowd with in-person events. However, social media makes it possible to reach people all around the world. By posting regularly, interacting with fans, and letting readers see a glimpse of your life, you’re able to grow your fan base and ultimately expand your online presence.
Each social media platform has its own unique advantages and you’ll want to consider which ones are best for you. We typically see authors on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Goodreads. But if you are still familiarizing yourself with social media, it’s better to start with one platform and commit to establishing yourself there before expanding to other platforms and risk becoming overwhelmed.
Build Your Author Website
Your author website is the foundation for your online presence and it essentially links all your different online activity together. When someone hears about you and wants to learn more, they can visit your website and be directed to exactly where they need to go.
For example, they should be able to find links to your social media pages, your author information, upcoming event details, where to buy your books, your blog posts, and a place to subscribe to your email newsletter. Your goal is to have your entire online presence connected and your website is your online home to achieve this.
Grow Your Email List
Newsletters allow you to communicate with your subscribers on a regular basis. Many people might not be convinced to buy your book the first time they hear about it, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t interested. They just need to be encouraged. When you send monthly newsletters, you’re consistently staying in touch with promotions, special deals, book bundle packages, and other incentives to help persuade subscribers to read your book.
Since newsletters are so effective, you want to grow your email list. Promote your newsletter on social media, create free content that requires an email sign up, add pop-ups to your website, and include call-to-actions on your blog posts. Find creative ways to encourage people to sign up for your newsletter.
Publicity is a little bit different than traditional forms of advertising. With publicity, your goal is to get your name out to the public through different sources of media. This can include press releases, guest blogging, going on blog tours, interviewing with different media outlets, getting professional reviews, book signings, etc. What makes gaining publicity difficult is that you can’t do it all on your own. It takes collaboration with bloggers, journalists, bookstore managers, and other media sources who have credibility and influence in the industry. Their powerful voices, in essence, give your author voice more power.
Fill Out Your Book’s Metadata
Book metadata is the data search engines use to decipher the differences from one book to the next. When a potential reader searches for something online, search engines read the metadata attached to a web page and return results to fit the search. So your book’s metadata is the key to readers finding your book online. Whether they are searching directly for your title or for a specific genre, when you fill out the metadata accurately and strategically your book then shows up in more searches that match it.
When more people are discovering your book, then more people are reading and buying it. In a previous blog post, we took a deep dive into book metadata, to help authors better understand how it can help your book’s online reach.
Launch Your Book
A book launch is not only a celebration that your book is now published, it’s also an announcement to the world. Most people outside your family and friends won’t know about your new book, and a book launch allows you to share your huge accomplishment with local media and members in your community.
It also presents a great opportunity to spread the word to your online community. Post about it on your social media channels, write about it in your blog, live stream part of the event, or leave updates on your website. There are so many different ways to share the event across your various online platforms to increase excitement for your book launch event.
Obtain Reader Reviews
Reader reviews are so important to your book’s success online because they help build your credibility amongst readers. Reviews from unbiased readers simply reinforce to undecided readers that your book is worth their time and money. And as you begin gaining more reviews, your book climbs in the online bookstore’s rankings making it easier for readers to discover.
However, it can be very difficult to try to round up reviews after your book is already released. One solution is to create a launch team that reads your book ahead of the release date and then leaves online reviews the day the book actually releases. The retailer is then flooded with reviews, causing your book to shoot up in their rankings. A launch team can be made up of close friends, industry connections, and loyal fans and readers of a writer’s previous work. By building this core team, you’re able to start your book off on the right foot.
Offer Free eBooks
When you aren’t a well-known author, your job is to find a way to get as many people to read your book as possible. One of the most effective ways to do this is to give it away for free to a number of readers. Think of it this way: it’s better that someone reads your book for free than not read it at all.
When you get your book in the hands of more readers, good things can happen. You can build a loyal fan base that will continue to read your written work. You can also create word-of-mouth, which continues to be the most effective form of marketing. Even if a sale isn’t taking place, the more readers you have, the better.
Contests and Giveaways
The idea with a contest or giveaway is to offer an awesome prize that a reader can’t turn down. Then, in order to enter the giveaway for a chance to win, they must engage in some way. Maybe they must like your social media page, comment on a photo you posted, or subscribe to your newsletter. As long as the engagement offers you value, it will work.
Contests and giveaways are great for increasing leads and generating more engagement, so depending on your specific marketing goals you can create and cater a contest or giveaway to specifically reach that goal. Be creative with these! Here are some book contest ideas we’ve come up with that you can try out!
DIY Book Marketing Guide
Book marketing can be confusing and even overwhelming at times, but I do believe that if you trust the process you will eventually achieve success. Just like with the 76ers, your book marketing can prosper with the right moves and by trusting the process. If you’re looking for a more in-depth look into book marketing, eBooks2go has created a DIY Book Marketing Guide you can download!
Have you ever sent a message to someone and immediately noticed a terrible, yet hilarious typo? We’ve all been there! I, myself, have shared some LOL and LMAO moments over autocorrect blunders. Making mistakes is part of life and no one is perfect. But if you’re an author with publishing dreams of success, then you can’t afford to have readers discover errors in your book. Editing your content is absolutely vital, since it’s incredibly easy for your book’s mistakes to be plastered across the web, turning your dream into a publishing nightmare.
This doesn’t mean that your book needs to be a masterpiece of perfection. Authors often miss things they meant to tweak or fix long after their book is published. Mistakes are expected, and even encouraged, as you grow and develop your writing. But the last thing you want is for your book to be caught red-handed with typos, gaps in plotlines, or inconsistently spelled character names. Errors in your content are no laughing matter. Readers will notice and this can not only hurt your book’s sales, but also damage your credibility in the publishing world before you even get a chance to build it.
Never Fear, Your Editor Is Here!
You aren’t writing with an array of grammar and punctuation rules flooding your brain. Take that pressure off of yourself and place it firmly in an editor’s capable hands. It’s what we’re here for—to polish up your book and help your readers truly enjoy it without distractions or confusion from writing snafus. In a world where anyone can share just about anything publicly, it’s extremely important to have your book edited—more than once—and avoid embarrassing mistakes.
Hunting for Help …
Many self-publishing authors might not have the wiggle room in their budget to afford professional editing. It’s also a challenge to know where to turn to get the most out of your editing dollars, especially with a decline in quality publishing services such as Amazon’s CreateSpace. The self-publishing platform’s free tools are anticipated to discontinue this year, as reported by The Post and Courier. This news has been buzzing in the publishing industry as indie authors hunt for alternative free services such as editing.
While there are many free services out there, when it comes to the quality of your book, editing is not the area you should skimp on. Sure, you can do a few self-editing rounds on your own and save some money on basic proofing. In fact, I absolutely think every author should read through their manuscript at least once before sending it off for editing. You might even try tools like free editing software programs to help you proof your work. After all, it’ll catch misspelled words and editing style errors for you, right? Yes! But you’re rolling the dice of risk if you rely solely on these methods to get your book publishing-ready.
A program doesn’t always catch misused words spelled correctly, and it can’t advise you on how to improve transitions from scene to scene, or how to further develop a significant character. However, a skilled editor can and will catch things like this, and much more.
The Value of Editing
It’s up to the author to determine their price range, but your publishing dreams are worth your investment. And when your book hits the market, you’ll be able to rest easy knowing your content is free of embarrassing mistakes.
We all make mistakes, but learning from them is the key to reaching your publishing goals. So delight in your writing blunders and learn something new with each one. Just don’t let your readers catch you in them with red ink markups of their own!
When a writer envisions publishing their book, the scene in their head typically involves holding a physical copy of a newly printed book. While it’s a great image, it’s not the only way that authors become published. In fact, there’s an easier, cheaper, and arguably more beneficial way.
eBook conversions can serve an independent author just as much, if not more, than a printed book. Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely believe that authors should sell print books. A vast majority of readers still prefer holding a physical book as they read, and you must produce what readers want. But I do believe, and the industry agrees, that it is absolutely necessary for authors to offer eBooks as well as print books.
Here’s why an eBook conversion is your best friend …
Cost to Publish
When you elect to publish print books, you can mass print hundreds of books at a lower production cost in the hopes they will eventually sell, or you can use print-on-demand to print each book order as it is placed. Regardless, printing a book can be expensive for indie authors who don’t always have a large budget to work with.
eBook publishing, however, you pay for one or two eBook files and that’s it. There’s the Mobi file, which is compatible with the Amazon Kindle. Then there’s the ePUB file, which is compatible with all other eReaders. Learn more about the differences between Mobi and ePUB files from our informational blog post here. Whether you convert you book into both an ePub and a Mobi file, or just one of the two, an eBook conversion is a very cost-efficient way to make your title available to millions of readers worldwide.
One of the challenges of traditional publishing is the timeline. It often takes months and even years once the manuscript is finished before the book actually hits the market. Self-publishing an eBook is as simple as it gets. Once your manuscript is written, edited, and finalized, your title can be converted and made available in the marketplace in as little as five business days.
Here’s how simple it is:
Upload your manuscript.
Select the eBook file(s) to convert your manuscript into.
eBooks2go or another eBook conversion service provider converts the manuscript into your selected eBook file(s).
Choose the retailers to distribute through.
BOOM! Now readers all around the world can buy your book.
Worldwide eBook distribution is only clicks away. Today, more books are purchased online than in stores, so this makes the eBook market the perfect opportunity to reach people globally. As an indie author, you have several options for distributing your book. One popular choice is to join forces with a distribution service that already has partnerships with retailers in place, giving you access to any and all of their retail partners. Your book then becomes readily available to many of the largest and most prominent online retailers in the world.
eBooks2go offers worldwide distribution in over 200 countries at no upfront cost (however we do receive 10% of the royalties from sales). With our distribution network, your book would be distributed through Apple iBooks, Barnes & Noble, Google Play, Kobo, hoopla, EBSCO, OverDrive, and many other large retailers and libraries.
As a new author hungry for any opportunity to develop your author name, you’re always looking to build and grow your readership. eBooks offer a less expensive way for readers to buy your book. If they’ve never heard of you and haven’t read any of your work before, the cheaper your book is priced, the more likely readers are to test it out.
The common industry standard is to have eBooks priced about 30 percent under the price of a paperback copy. However, you also have the power to change the price of the eBook as you wish. Since you aren’t dependent on covering the cost of printing, you have the ability to maneuver the price of your eBook, depending on how sales are going. One strategy of indie authors is run a promotion that lowers the price of their eBook to 99 cents so it picks up momentum and gains new readership. They raise the price after the promotion once the demand for the book increases.
Another benefit to eBooks is the common strategy of offering free giveaways for a limited time or for a specific amount of books. Again, since your only expense is the initial conversion, you aren’t further digging yourself into a financial hole as you would be by giving away free print books.
The strategy here is to increase your readership. Giveaways can generate online reviews that in turn improve your search ranking in online bookstores and encourage word-of-mouth marketing, which continues to be extremely effective.
A simple way to offer giveaways is through Goodreads and Apple iBooks. Hosting giveaways on Goodreads allows you to select the giveaway’s details, such as the amount of books to giveaway, the time period for the giveaway, and how the winners are chosen. With Apple iBooks, you are given free promo codes to send out to up to 50 readers. You can even create book contests to generate more engagement and excitement.
Improved Reading Experience
Print books are awesome, but they can only offer so much for the reader. eBooks on the other hand can be much more personalized for a specific reader to improve their experience. There are two different eBook formats: fixed layout and reflowable.
Fixed layout is similar to a print book: the content on each page is set in place and cannot be altered. But a reflowable eBook allows a reader to change certain aspects of the eBook such as font type, font size, spacing, and more. As the reader chooses their preferences, the eBook then seamlessly rearranges each page to flow properly.
You are also able to add in different enhancements and features depending on your book and its characteristics. For example, you can add internal and external hyperlinks, video, audio, read along, animation, and much more to turn reading into an interactive and even hands-on experience for your readers.
While a majority of readers still prefer print books, that doesn’t mean eBooks are unnecessary. Many people who prefer print still read eBooks because of their availability (me, for example).
When someone has a few minutes of free time, an eBook makes it possible to pull out a book and read a few pages on a variety of mobile devices, no matter where they are. The convenience of having a book in your pocket at all times is reason enough for many readers. And if there is reason for the reader to read it, there is reason for you to produce it.
So when you picture your book at last becoming published, envision your scene in a more digital way with an eBook. Imagine the heights your book dreams can reach! Start your eBook conversion today!
From real-life experience comes inspiration for a great story! What better story to share than the challenges and rewards of parenting? eBooks2go highlights Golden Brick Road’s parent turned author, Giulia Ferrari as she takes a humorous and realistic view of life pre- and post-baby in Your Parents Are Cool. A book for parents by parents, Your Parents Are Cool will have readers laughing as it hilariously highlights the kid-free days and adventures into the world of being a new parent. Ferrari reflects that “the book came to life,” when its pages were filled with artwork by famous fashion illustrator, Sarah Hankinson.
Ferrari is a Melbourne-based author who was inspired to write this book by the life-changing birth of her daughter. “As soon as I had my daughter, Alexa, my life totally changed. I would talk to my friends and we all felt the same way. So, I had the idea to write a kid’s book about how life changes after having kids.”
She hopes her readers will not only relate to her book, but also find a sense of comradery. “I hope to make new parents laugh at how life changes once you have a baby. To make them feel like they are not alone, we all are in it together. Life does change, but for the better.”
An Interview with the Cool Parent
What has been your proudest moment as a parent so far?
Being told my daughter is kind.
Who would Alexa say is cooler? You, or dad?
Her dad, he spoils her.
Were your parents cool?
What was the best piece of parenting advice you received from your parents?
It’s not about you anymore.
How did it feel when you held a copy of your book for the first time?
Proud as punch.
Who was the first person you showed your book to?
I remember walking into Readings® bookstore in Melbourne and showing Martin Shaw, their head book buyer at the time. He had just been out the night before with his wife for the first time since having kids. He totally got the book! He ordered copies on the spot. It was great timing!
What were some of your biggest takeaways during your first year as a writer?
That it comes down to having an idea, executing it, having courage, persistence, and a little luck.
What advice would you give to an aspiring writer?
To step back from your work, take the time to assess, don’t rush creativity. Also read Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert.
Who are some of your favorite authors?
I’m a biography/autobiography kinda girl, but I’m totally obsessed with Kevin Kwan.
Parents Supporting Parents
If you haven’t read Giulia Ferrari’s eBook yet, download Your Parents Are Cool from eBooks2go.com today!
Finally, you have some free time to write! You sit down, put your hands on the keyboard anndddd … nothing. Hmmm, that’s funny. You reposition yourself in your seat and try again. Still nothing. I could use my imagination and try to guess what happens next—maybe there’s a few expletives or some crumpled up sheets of paper. Regardless of what actually ensues, frustration certainly sets in.
I didn’t actually poll the entire population of the world, but I’m pretty confident every single writer that has ever lived experiences writer’s block. It comes with the craft. It can’t necessarily be prevented, but there are ways to overcome writer’s block once it hits!
7 Ways to Overcome Writer’s Block
1. Nibble on Some Brain Food
Foods with natural sources of energy give you a quick boost to sustain your body over time. Excessive sugar and caffeine can give you that quick boost as well, but your body will crash shortly afterwards. Try energizing brain foods to keep you going longer such as fresh fruit, nuts, dark chocolate, spinach, beans, salmon, quinoa, and kale.
2. Change It Up
Routine can be good for productivity, but sometimes it causes us to just go through the motions. Break up your routine to get out of your writing rut.
If you do most of your writing on your laptop or tablet: Switch things up by grabbing a spiral notebook and write pen to paper. Slowing things down with handwriting stimulates and engages your mind more than typing out your words.
Leave your usual writing space and go somewhere new like a library, a coffee shop, or a park bench. Just having a change of scenery can give you a new perspective.
Find your focus by listening to some mellow music. Studies have shown classical music increases productivity. Ambient sounds from electronic music can relax the mind and quiet noisy distractions.
3. Get Active
Get your blood flowing! This is one of my favorite ways to overcome writer’s block, but I understand some of you will need some convincing, so here we go … When you increase your heart rate, your body pumps more oxygen into your brain. I’m no scientist, but that seems good for creativity. If you’re into it, take a walk, go for a run, lift some weights, play a sport, or do some yoga in your living room.
4. Clear Your Head
Get all the nonsense out of your head. Find something peaceful that allows you to release some of the jumbled up mess in your mind.
Get some fresh air and enjoy nature.
Fast for a day. Coldplay frontman Chris Martin fasts once a week to inspire creativity.
If you’re spiritual, head to your church, temple, or worship location to release any stresses or worries you’re carrying.
Pour yourself a couple drinks! Just not too many, otherwise your editor is in for a long day!
5. Interact with People
Since writing is such a solitary activity, interaction with people can re-engage and stimulate your brain. Meet up with friends for lunch or call a family member on the phone who you haven’t spoken to in awhile. If you are an extrovert, go to a coffee shop and strike up a conversation with someone.
6. Take a Break
Often times, we get so focused that our minds get tunnel vision and completely block all creativity. So don’t think about the writing piece for awhile. Depending on the severity of your writer’s block, it might be only a day or it might be month or two. Just put it aside for a bit. By taking a break, you’re allowing your brain to refresh so that the next time you sit down to write you’ll have a fresh perspective and new ideas.
7. Lose All Distractions
Consider this: You might not have writer’s block at all. You may just be suffering from chronic distractions. Your phone won’t stop buzzing, Friends reruns are on TV, a cute dog keeps walking by your house, or THE UPSTAIRS NEIGHBORS ARE REALLY LOUD!
Silence your phone, turn off the TV, disable the Wi-Fi connection on your laptop, and if you must, leave to find your ideal writing space. Lose the distractions and regain your concentration.
Free Your Creativity
The upside to writer’s block is that it’s only temporary! So don’t worry too much about it. Once you succumb to the frustration of writer’s block, it tends to snowball and eventually spiral out of control. Instead of overthinking it, try one of these creative ways to overcome writer’s block. Your greatest creativity will come when your mind is free from worry!
Originally posted by Marla Jacobson in March 2016. Updated and reposted by Nick Furio in March 2018
There’s a good chance that if you’re reading this you’ve heard some of the hype about book metadata but don’t really know what exactly it is or why it’s important. I mean, you’re a writer, not a data expert. Why should you care? Well the truth is, metadata can take your book to new online heights. When you’re an independent author with self-publishing aspirations, being a data expert is one of the many hats you must wear. But don’t worry, we’re here to help.
In layman’s terms, metadata is data that describes other data. So that begs the question, what is data? Data is the information from the digital version of an electronic file or document. If you’re anything like me, that sounds miserably boring. I don’t even really care about data—why should I care about the data of other data?
Well in this case, your book is the data, and the information describing your book is the metadata. It is this exact metadata that helps readers find the book they want to read. In other words, it is how you are going to sell books. If you weren’t on board before, maybe you are now …
Simplifying Online Searches
When a book is sold in a brick and mortar bookstore, the search process is fairly simple. I’m sure you already know how it works: A book is placed in a section or aisle of the bookstore according to its genre. Readers wander the bookstore, stopping in sections they are most interested in to start browsing through the array of books. They are able to gauge their interest in a book by physically picking it up and flipping freely through its pages without any limitations.
But when a book is sold online, the search isn’t as hands on. Readers must rely heavily on search engines to produce relevant results and get the right books in their hands. With this obstacle, an advanced form of organization is needed to ensure simplified online book searching. The solution is metadata.
Book metadata is what search engines use to decipher the differences from one book to the next.
Simplifying Book Metadata
Book metadata is broken down into different categories: title, subtitle, author, ISBN, keywords, genre, book description, author description, and more. This information gives your book its identity and makes it unique in comparison to the millions of other books online. It’s like your book’s very own DNA.
So, when a potential reader searches something either on a search engine like Google or in an online bookstore like ebooks2go.com, the search engine scans through its database and returns results to fit the search.
However, search engines can’t scan through every word on the internet to deem what is most important or relevant to the searcher. And in this case, search engines don’t analyze your entire book to decipher what will peak the interest of your potential readers. They use algorithms that value metadata because again, metadata is the data that describes your book.
It’s up to you to choose what you specifically want to stand out for search engines. You know your book better than anyone, and metadata is your opportunity to describe the most important aspects of your book to search engines so they are able to match it with the right searches. The book metadata you apply will determine how readers can find it.
Discovering Your Book Online
Metadata makes it possible for readers to find your book in a variety of ways. For example, they can search your book’s title or your author name and ideally should be routed directly to your book. But in reality, the number of books you sell will be limited if the only people who buy it are the ones specifically looking for it.
I’m just going to assume you aren’t as famous as J.K. Rowling, and that just means people will need to discover your book without even realizing they are looking for it. While it’s a bit of an obstacle to be a lesser-known author, the keywords you use in your book’s metadata make it possible for readers to organically discover you through their natural online searching.
So what are keywords? They are exactly what they sound like. Words and phrases that you have chosen as key descriptors of your book. In other words, even if someone was to search only a word or phrase, they would still be matched with your book. With the keywords in your book metadata, you can identify the setting or time period of your book, list key characteristics of your main characters, describe the plot theme, or anything else that simply describes the important aspects of your book to a reader.
Put yourself in the mind of your potential readers. What will they be searching for that might help them stumble across your book?
Stay Tuned for Book Metadata Part 2
With metadata being such a diverse topic, we’ve decided to make this blog topic two parts—so stay tuned for part 2! Although, optimizing your metadata isn’t the only way to improve your book’s discoverability. Download our free DIY Book Marketing Guide and learn how to reach the right audience.
Embarking on your publishing journey into the book world is a thrilling and challenging experience! Along your self-publishing way are trails that twist and turn through tough choices such as final manuscript revisions, or choosing an appealing cover design. But your author journey doesn’t end once your book is ready for readers. It’s only just begun! The next leg of your publishing adventure is along the winding path of book marketing. (How else will your book end up in the hands of your new fans?!) Early along your marketing path you’ll reach a fork in the road—a choice of which trail your book will travel down. Do you self-market your book or have it professionally marketed?
Depending on what matters most to you, your marketing path may look vastly different from another author’s. What works for one may not work for another. The life of an average indie author is a constant balancing act as you choose between your book publishing dreams and your personal reality. So how do you decide on your book marketing route? Explore the benefits and drawbacks of each to discover which is best for your personal publishing journey.
Weighing Your Options …
Imagine that you are standing at a literal fork in the road. One path is marked “Self-Marketing” and the other “Professional Marketing.” Now place a balancing scale at each path and let’s weigh out the pros and cons of each. What pros bring you the most balance in your book-dreams versus your real-life responsibilities? What cons send your publishing dreams running for the hills?
Set Your Own Schedule
Spend as much as or as little time as your availability allows. If one week you are slammed with life’s demands, the next can be a marketing-heavy week to make up for lost time. Set your own marketing schedule that fits your personal needs. For example, if you’re a night owl, you can work well into the wee hours without worrying about missing your marketing contact’s business hours.
Time Is Money
The dangers of self-management can include procrastination and a busy schedule. These and many other factors carry authors away from their passions. Additionally, many marketing efforts involve time-consuming setup and consistent maintenance and updating. While you could save on the cost of professional marketing, you may miss out on opportunities with your time diverted elsewhere.
Learn as You Go
Many indie publishers offer free materials to help authors learn the basics of self-marketing. Authors gain experience through hands-on learning and self-teaching. You can tackle each of your marketing options one at a time, at your own pace. With diligent studying and research, along with perseverance in applying what learn, you can teach yourself some valuable marketing tools. If you do your homework, you can gather marketing traction to get your book the attention it deserves. In time, you’ll learn which efforts were beneficial and which fizzled out.
So Much to Learn, So Little Expertise
Will you lose your way spending too much time figuring out your marketing paths only to give up? If you’re not savvy with marketing trends, you could be wasting a ton of time as a novice. Your learning curve may wind you through a very confusing path! Even if you’re a Facebook or Twitter guru, these avenues become completely different platforms in book marketing. The expertise of professional marketing can show you the way toward your book’s success and save several frustrating hours as well. This is time you could spend living your personal life or writing your next masterpiece!
Complete Creative Control
You are the sole voice of all your marketing materials, rather than having your ideas and visions interpreted. Your book marketing will be in your author voice and from your perspective. You can choose how much or how little content to share as a teaser to entice readers. It’s all up to you and your creativity!
What You Don’t Know CAN Hurt
Are you familiar with SEO? Do you know how to find and reach your book’s target audience? Can you set up and run a successful social media ad campaign? Do you know which retailers and distributors are best for your book?These are just some of many obstacles to hurdle over along your marketing path. An experienced marketing professional helps you figure out details like these and many more!
Expertise Helps Your Book Sales Soar
When your marketing comes from a quality team of professionals, it shows! A specialist or agency studies market trends to develop a promotional strategy that offers your audience timely content with enticing designs on a consistent basis. Professionals are also receptive to your input. Their goal is to complement your vision in order to accurately reflect your book in its best light. Professionalism comes at a cost, but you’ll get what you pay for in terms of quality and expertise. Additionally, your book benefits from the value of time and effort well spent. Many indie publishers will even work with your budget and understand that authors often need the most help with marketing.
Experience Costs Money
The path of marketing involves several different options to choose from, many with hefty price tags attached. Book launch events, press releases, social media ad campaigns, blog tours … all of these are just pieces of a very big marketing puzzle that a professional team can help you with. Your initial costs may be higher, but setting a marketing budget could be an investment into higher book sales.
Network of Distribution Channels
Many indie publishers have a vast network of distribution channels to get your book out to the reading world. With these distribution channels, you’ll be able to introduce your work to national and foreign markets and gauge which are most successful for your book’s sales through data and reporting.
With Distribution Comes Royalty Cuts
Royalty cuts often deter authors from distributing in various channels. Each distributor may take a different cut for the cost of essentially selling your book for you. Distribution becomes a cost-versus-benefit analysis. It often depends on aspects such as your book’s genre, target audience demographics, etc. Where you sell your book is just as vital as its pages’ contents. Royalty cuts may dig into your profits, but professionals with retailer distribution knowledge will get your book in your target audience’s hands.
Building into a Brand-Name Author
Professional marketing can help build your author brand in the publishing world. Marketing teams will know which questions to ask you to gain an understanding of your vision. Together you’ll build a brand in your author name and gain recognition with the right marketing tactics. With consistent and relevant marketing, you’ll maintain a presence in various outlets from social media campaigns to press releases and so much more!
The Challenges of Communication
You’ve spent hours of your creative effort writing your book. You have so much to say about your book and your vision as an author! However, sometimes the toughest things to explain are those we are most passionate about. While building your author brand, exercise clarity and patience with your marketing professional to ensure that your author voice is represented accurately. If you’re not clearly explaining your visions, you’ll risk misinterpretation or having them get lost in the marketing shuffle.
By now, your scales may be tipping heavily in one direction over the other. Or perhaps your options are weighing out evenly as you face the fork in your marketing path. If you’re unsure what’s best for your book’s publishing journey, just take a leap and see where it takes you! Try self-marketing on your social media channels or reach out to a professional book publisher. Explore different marketing avenues to see which will take your book to the heights you’ve worked so hard to reach! You’ve poured your creativity into this dream, don’t let it sizzle out!
Whichever book marketing path you choose, eBooks2go can help find your way! We fit all budgets into our packages! Here are some of our resources to check out as you weigh your options. Or reach out and get in touch with our book marketing experts at 1-847-598-1150. We’ll be happy to work with you on your marketing needs!