Welcome! Kate Tilton, founder of Kate Tilton's Author Services, LLC, invites you to learn how to connect with readers your way with free articles on social media, publishing, book marketing, writing, and so much more.
Today I am pleased to have Belinda Kroll with us for a gif interview! In case you are new to the site, a gif interview is where the author is only allowed to answer my questions using gifs or pictures. I hope you enjoy it!
Belinda Kroll is the author of fiction for kids and teens. She grew up in a home where reading was encouraged and Jeopardy! was on every weeknight. Both activities fostered her love of history. She loves Sailor Moon, Doctor Who, all things Jane Austen, and DIY house projects. She lives in Central Ohio with her husband and two step-dogs. Go Bucks!
Spontaneous, fifteen-year-old Gretchen vows to help heal the nation from the recently ended Civil War. On the morning of President Lincoln’s death, Gretchen finds an amnesiac Confederate in her garden and believes this is her chance for civic goodwill.
But reconciliation is not as simple as Gretchen assumed. When her mother returns from the market with news that a Confederate murdered the president, Gretchen wonders if she caught the killer. Tensions between her aunt and mother rise as Gretchen nurses her Confederate prisoner, revealing secrets from their past that make Gretchen question everything she knows about loyalty, honor, and trust.
The Last April is an entertaining, thoughtful novella of Ohio after the Civil War, meant to encourage readers to reflect on themes of fear and hope in uncertain political times.
Today I am pleased to have H.M. Jones with us for a gif interview! In case you are new to the site, a gif interview is where the author is only allowed to answer my questions using gifs or pictures. I hope you enjoy it!
H.M. Jones is the B.R.A.G Medallion author of Monochrome, re-released with Gravity by Booktrope. She is also responsible for the Attempting to Define poetry quartet and has contributed a short story to Master’s of Time: A Sci-Fi and Fantasy Time Travel Anthology, “The Light Storm of 2015.” A bestseller only in her mind, Jones pays the electric bill by teaching English and research courses at Northwest Indian College. Jones is also the moderator for Elite Indie Reads, a review website for Indie and Self published books. Besides buying enough second-hand books to fill a library, Jones loves to spend time helping her preschoolers grow into thinking, feeling citizens of this world, run, weave, pull with the Port Gamble S’Klallam Canoe Family and attempt to deserve her handsome husband, who is helping pay the other bills until his wife becomes the next big thing.
What would you do to save your most precious memories? That’s the question that Abigail Bennet, a new mother, must answer in this dark fantasy. The cries of her new baby throw Abigail into rage and desperation. Frightened by foreign anger and overwhelming depression, the first-time mother decides to end her life to spare the life of her only child. But before she acts on her dark intuition, she is overcome by a panic attack and blacks out. When she awakes, everything is blue: the trees, the grass, the rocks and still, scentless sky above her. Everything except the face of the man who stands over her. He is Ishmael Dubois and claims to be her Guide through the dangerous world of Monochrome, a physical manifestation of the depressed mind. But in a place where good memories are currency, nightmares walk, and hopeless people are hired to bring down those who still have the will to live, Abigail starts to wonder if she’ll ever make it back to her family. Despite her growing feelings for her handsome, mysterious Guide, Abigail must fight for the life she once wished to take or fade into the blue.
Today I am pleased to have Tamara Palmer with us for a gif interview! In case you are new to the site, a gif interview is where the author is only allowed to answer my questions using gifs or pictures. I hope you enjoy it!
Tamara Palmer knew she was going to be a writer before she could even write. She would play elaborate dramas out with her Barbies for days, even weeks, on end. As she got older, the stories made their way onto a typewriter. Tamara obtained a BA in English/Creative Writing from Eastern Illinois University, and has had a handful of short stories and essays published online and in print. Tamara blogs frequently for the career advisement business she founded in 2012, greyzone. Missing Tyler is her first novel. She lives just outside Chicago with her husband, daughter, and assortment of pets.
Summer break has just begun and Kit Carlin is on her way to a funeral: to bury her twin brother. Kit has to find a way to put the broken puzzle of her life back together following Tyler’s death. She navigates through grief and family trauma by finding support in unexpected places and a growing understanding of what comes after life. There are laughter and tears, summer beach time on the Jersey shore, and the complicated “rollercoaster” of young love, jealousy, and sex. The joys and pains of Kit’s fifteenth summer become part of her unique journey of recovery and self-discovery as all of her experiences leave her changed forever.
Making merchandise for one’s book is a fun and rewarding experience for most authors. Seeing your cover art or a favorite quote from your novel being worn by an adoring fan can be a hugely satisfying experience. Perhaps that shirt sparks a conversation with someone who is not familiar with your work to help create interest through word of mouth.
Most authors already have direct access to their readers through their newsletter, website, and social media which offers the perfect outlet for direct marketing to the most devoted members of any fan following. Branded shirts, water bottles, hats, and other swag can be offered as prizes for giveaways for your latest book tour.
In addition, the potential profit of selling just a few products is nothing to shy away from. It can offer a steady stream of supplemental income while you finish up your next novel.
Here are a few tips to help you get started on your way to being successful at selling merchandise for your books.
Start Small Then Go Big
The price of the products themselves can feel like a major barrier to entry when considering merchandising. Buying the product, printing your image on the product, and shipping, are costs that tend to add up very quickly when dealing with the manufacturing and sale of physical items. Unlike books that have the option for eBook versions, it is quite unlikely that anyone would be interested in buying a digital image of a shirt instead of the actual shirt itself.
A common way for companies to reduce some of these fees it to produce the items at scale. In this case, the price per item goes down, in the same way that buying a gallon of milk is cheaper per cup than buying a single serve carton. Try not to be tempted by manufacturer prices. These low costs are typically rates for producing hundreds if not thousands of units of the exact same product at once. And you will be left not only to foot the bill, but to store all these products until you can hopefully sell them.
The solution? Make the products after they are purchased, this method is commonly known as print on demand. Doing this allows you to wait until you sell an item, and use that money to create and ship out the product. There are many companies that offer this type of service. With ever-changing pricing and offerings, it is best to do your research when the time comes to see which option is best for your particular situation. Depending on where your audience is located, there are different companies that can serve either the USA, UK, Canada and beyond. They will produce and ship directly from that country to avoid the hassle and cost of custom or duties.
Although printing on demand can be costly per item, it saves money elsewhere in terms of investment and risk. After you know that your readers love your products you always have the option to produce at scale and take advantage of the less pricey manufacturer options available.
Manage Your Original Design Files
When authors commission book covers, illustrations, or any sort of designs from freelance artists, they often receive the files to their specifications and are satisfied. These file types are typically .jpegs or .pngs and vary in size. Although desirable for digital and print use, most merchandise will require entirely different files.
In order to print high-resolution images on items such as the popular graphic t-shirt, one will need a large file, typically over 4,000 pixels on each side. It is nearly impossible to upscale an undersized image and not have it appear fuzzy/pixilated. If it is also desired for the image to display independently of its background such as in this collection of shirts it is necessary for the image to have a transparent background. This can be easily done with access to original design files with the layer properties intact. Without these files, it can be a complicated, if not impossible task to remaster the artwork.
Whether or not you are considering printing your images onto products, it is always best to ask the artist or designer for the original design files at the time that they create them. This will save you a huge headache from trying to track them down in the future. In some cases, you may never be able to get a hold of the designer again and need to go through the costly proccess of recreating the designs from scratch. Depending on the contract many freelancers will freely give you these files if you ask for them. In some cases, they will consider the files proprietary and charge extra. In either case, it is best to understand that these files have value and it is always best to hang onto them for future use.
Mind Your Profit Margins
Remember that wherever your merchandising journey may take you, that you are first and foremost an author. Your time is best spent writing, connecting with your readers, and being an active part of the literary community.
If you are an author who is looking to offer merchandise as a way for improved financial stability, then make sure you keep this in mind at all times. Generating profit should be your main focus, otherwise, you risk wasting your time that would best be spent elsewhere. This is another reason why it is important not to invest too much monetarily, at least at first.
Since there is little to no upfront investment involved, every author who is considering merchandising their books should give it a try. It can be a simple way to generate a bit or a lot of side income. This is especially true for authors with a pre-exitisting fan base that has been built up over many years.
Have you tried to make merchandise for your books? What was your experience like?
About Melissa Chan:
Melissa Chan is the designer and founder of Literary Book Gifts. She took her love of classic literature to bring books to life on shirts and bags. Use the promo code K8Tilton for 20% off anything in the store. No minimum and it will not expire.
Today I am pleased to have Danielle Rogland with us for a gif interview! In case you are new to the site, a gif interview is where the author is only allowed to answer my questions using gifs or pictures. I hope you enjoy it!
Danielle Rogland began writing Ignite at the age of 17, and finished at age 21. She is now 25 and lives in Seattle, Washington, where she earned her English degree from Seattle Pacific University, and works in marketing and freelance writing while working on her second novel. She grew up near Portland, Oregon, and was always one of those kids who carried around giant books like The Lord of the Rings to read during recess. She can currently be found frequenting comic conventions, pestering her three younger siblings, or hiding out in her home and posting things on social media. You can follow her on twitter @daniellerogland or facebook @danielleroglandauthor.
In the ruins of dystopian London, the Empire rules through fear and fire.
Ever since her parents were murdered by the empire’s agents, Jacks has been living on the street as a pickpocket, trying to keep away from trouble. When she accidentally witnesses the rebel group ‘The Flames’ in the middle of an operation, she is unwillingly swept up into their world, and has to decide if she’s going to go back to looking after herself or join the rebellion and help them fight for the people of London Ruins.
She knows that getting involved was stupid, but does she really have a choice?
Today I am pleased to have Iris Sweetwater with us for a gif interview! In case you are new to the site, a gif interview is where the author is only allowed to answer my questions using gifs or pictures. I hope you enjoy it!
Iris Sweetwater is a mother, wife, and passionate educator with over a decade under her belt in the writing industry. First published in poetry anthologies at the age 13, Iris has also done a few years of work in copywriting and marketing. Most recently, she has been a ghostwriter for many years. After writing for others for so long, she felt it was time to self-publish her own work.
Roze had everything a 23-year-old girl should want; a great relationship with her zany mother, an amazing career where she got to meet some of the world’s top celebrities, a high-rise apartment in L.A., and a hot boyfriend. But Roze was bored with being the girl everyone was jealous of, and her opportunity to try her hand at being someone else came with the phone call from a lawyer telling her that her father had passed away; the father she had stopped visiting for some reason after she turned 12. He had left her his ranch in Texas to share ownership with her step brother who she hardly knew.
So, Roze did what any other woman would do in her predicament; pack up her life in the city and head to the ranch to find herself. Though, along the way, she may find a man….or two, as well as the father she didn’t get the time to know.
Today I am pleased to have Angela Correll with us for a gif interview! In case you are new to the site, a gif interview is where the author is only allowed to answer my questions using gifs or pictures. I hope you enjoy it!
Angela Correll lives on a farm in Central Kentucky with her husband, Jess. Her novels are Amazon bestsellers and have been adapted to the stage for sold-out audiences at the Pioneer Playhouse, Kentucky’s oldest outdoor theater. She loves canning vegetables from her garden, exploring the Tuscan countryside, and spending time with her family.
Former international flight attendant Annie Taylor is embracing her country roots and racing toward a future with her sustainable farmer fiancé, but wedding plans are complicated by her new job, a mysterious ex-boyfriend, and a narcissistic father.
Meanwhile, Annie’s old-fashioned grandma, Beulah, is facing a shakeup in the last place she ever thought she would – home. A crisis on May Hollow Road follows a friend’s betrayal, challenging Beulah’s forgiving nature. An unwelcome diet, a new houseguest, and a possible overseas trip will all stretch her spirit – if she lets it.
Granted takes readers from the comforts of the Kentucky countryside to old-world Tuscany with a cast of memorable characters. Granted follows Grounded and Guarded in the May Hollow Trilogy.
Today I am pleased to have Michael Okon with us for a gif interview! In case you are new to the site, a gif interview is where the author is only allowed to answer my questions using gifs or pictures. I hope you enjoy it!
Michael Okon is an award-winning and best-selling author of multiple genres including paranormal, thriller, horror, action/adventure and self-help. He graduated from Long Island University with a degree in English, and then later received his MBA in business and finance. Coming from a family of writers, he has storytelling is his DNA. Michael has been writing from as far back as he can remember, his inspiration being his love for films and their impact on his life. From the time he saw The Goonies, he was hooked on the idea of entertaining people through unforgettable characters.
Michael is a lifelong movie buff, a music playlist aficionado, and a sucker for self-help books. He lives on the North Shore of Long Island with his wife and children.
Welcome to Monsterland—the scariest place on Earth.
Wyatt Baldwin’s senior year is not going well. His parents divorce, then his dad mysteriously dies. He’s not exactly comfortable with his new stepfather, Carter White, either. An ongoing debate with his best friends Melvin and Howard Drucker over which monster is superior has gotten stale. He’d much rather spend his days with beautiful and popular Jade. However, she’s dating the brash high-school quarterback Nolan, and Wyatt thinks he doesn’t stand a chance.
But everything changes when Wyatt and his friends are invited to attend the grand opening of Monsterland, a groundbreaking theme park where guests can interact with vampires in Vampire Village, be chased by werewolves on the River Run, and walk among the dead in Zombieville.
With real werewolves, vampires and zombies as the main attractions, what could possibly go wrong?
Today I am pleased to have Angela Bennett with us for a gif interview! In case you are new to the site, a gif interview is where the author is only allowed to answer my questions using gifs or pictures. I hope you enjoy it!
Angela Bennett grew up in Minnesota and received her BSN from Mankato State University. After graduating, she decided it was time for a scenery change and moved to sunny Southwest Florida, where she began her nursing career.
Seeing firsthand how short life can be, she began working towards her desire of becoming a writer one day. In 2011, she took the leap, changed gears and began writing full-time.
Falling in love with the people, the arts and energy of New York City, she and her husband split their time, living in the Big Apple and the Sunshine state.
Her psychological thriller, Dark Road Home, captures the complexity of family dynamics, the unconditional love parents have for their child, and the bond between a father and daughter that is tested and broken by lies, deception and family secrets.
Victor Simone, head of a hit man organization, murdered Belle McBain’s corrupt father. Following in her dad’s career footsteps, Belle becomes an attorney, but she can’t seem to move beyond the whispers of her crooked father’s corruption or his failures to his family. Instead of building a career in law, she escapes to a life of drugs and lives off her trust fund.
Unable to cope, Belle attempts suicide and is soon admitted into a rehab clinic where she tries to heal. However, her wounds run deep, so the healing takes time. Once released and three years sober, Belle begins a new life as a private investigator in Jersey City with the help of a friend in law enforcement. Sixteen years have passed . . . until everything changes.
One of Victor Simone’s cronies is in FBI custody and makes a deal. He says he’ll tell where the fugitive Simone is hiding if Belle agrees to meet with him. When she does, she begins to wonder if her father was ever a dirty attorney at all. As she searches for answers, Belle discovers more than she bargained for, including something more unbelievable than she could have imagined.