Archives for January 2013

Free Days on Amazon KDP Select – is it for you?

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FREE_ADVERTISING

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In Part 1 of this Amazon KDP Select article, lets look at pro’s and con’s of using free days and participating in the Prime Member Lending Library. Part 2, the next blog post will show you how to organize your free days and will give you lots of links for free advertising, plus marketing tips for your free days and beyond.

Authors are divided in praising or damning Amazon’s KDP Select Program. This book marketing opportunity may or may not work for your book. It can put your novel or non-fiction work in front of thousands of readers so, at the very least, it’s a great way to grow a readership.
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The Upside: Pro’s of KDP Select
You are allowed to select five “free” promotional days within the 90-day KDP Select period into the Lending Library, where the value of each borrow is currently $1.70. Each counts as a “unit sold” and helps your paid sales rankings. You might gain more reviews. Books with a greater number of reviews have a higher probability of being featured in book blogs.

Readers who are eager to download free books choose those that have more reviews because a higher number of reviews “validates” the book and indicates it is worthy of a download. They also suggest that in the readers’ eyes, this metric is more important than the ranking (number of stars) the book has because readers understand that some people may not like a good book and leave a negative review.
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Readership Explosion: With KDP Select, a new author can grow a following at an enormous rate, and will garner far more reviews than with sales that trickle in under normal circumstances through sheer visibility in the free KDP Select store.  After getting downloaded thousands of times, chances are you’ll reach more readers who will love your book and recognize your name as an author.

Amazon rewards sales with visibility. They treat free downloads the same as sales – according to their number of downloads, placing the author’s book cover in places such as “customers who bought this also bought” section, below other books purchased by those who downloaded the free book, and often in the same genre. KDP Select gives you indirectly promotion not only for the free book but also for the other books written by you listed on your Amazon Author page.

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Possible Downside: Con’s of KDP Select
You must commit exclusivity with Amazon for 90 days, which means that you must remove your e-book (NOT the print version!) from all other retailers and give up your e-book royalties from Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Apple iBook store and Sony’s Nook eBook store or wherever else you sell it. If you are earning more than 80 or 90% of your royalties from Amazon, then the decision to go exclusively with them for 90 days to enter the KDP Select program including Kindle Owners’ Lending Library is an easy one. An Amazon KDP Select Press Release explains that on average, by joining KDP Select, you can earn an additional 26% in royalties from the KDP Select fund, on top of royalties from your paid sales.

Leaving those other platforms, you are also giving up your current sales rankings on them. It could be very difficult to scale those bestselling lists again and reclaim your previous royalties from non-Amazon sources. If your royalty stream from Amazon is less than 70%, think twice if you really want to go with KDP select as you will loose significant royalties on other platforms.

You might also garner a number of negative reviews from people who would not normally buy your type of book, yet download it on free days. When they find out it is not to their taste or not what they expected, some of them seem to enjoy telling everyone why they did not like it.

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What to consider?
How well are you selling on your platforms? The more you are selling, the more likely you are to be on best-selling lists at Amazon, which greatly increases your discoverability and usually translates into higher lends and “free” giveaways – and therefore greater post-“free” sales.

On the other hand, you also might be well-positioned at your other online retailers. Which weighs more heavily? Being well ranked on Amazon or non-Amazon platforms?

Your ranking on Amazon is weighted more than any other platform, as Amazon represents the lion’s share of the e-book market. If you are already on a Top 100 Amazon Bestselling list in a genre, what would the increase get you? Would this increase bounce you into the Top 50 or even Top 10? On average, increasing your best-selling Amazon ranking will increase your royalties by about 7% for each page (Top 80, 60, 40, 20). If you sell well, you will lend well, and you will “give away” well. If you are not selling well, you will not lend well, or even “give away” well.

Most successful seem to be authors with multiple books or a series of books out – they use promo days to give away the first book in a series, hoping that customers will come back and buy the other books from that series. There is no guarantee with this strategy, but if your sales at the other e-book online retailers have been stale, then taking a 90-day-gamble on KDP Select might be an interesting experiment. If you have six to ten book titles it’s easier for readers to find you. An author with so many books has probably grown his or her platform over the years anyway. But when you only have one or two titles, KDP Select is the only program which can accelerate the long, draining process of finding readers for your book.
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Goodreads has Giveaway Contests too:

Amazon’s KDP Select is not the only game in town: Goodreads has ‘Giveaway’ contests which is a great way to raise awareness for your books as well as generating sales and reviews. On average, at Goodreads 45% of giveaway winners will review your book – and getting good reviews is one of the best ways to improve your book’s chance of long-term success. Goodreads website offers plenty of advice on getting the most out of your giveaway contest.

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Plan your free days well ahead – at least one month!

  1. Get as many reviews as possible, free book listings often promote only books with a certain amount of reviews. And readers also check out the amount of reviews (not necessarily the stars), to find out if your book is worthwhile to download.
  2. As Amazon Prime Members tend to borrow rather $5.99 – $9.99 e-books, raise the price of you book short before you join KDP Select. To give away a $0.99 e-book for free or to offer it to borrow is a bit of a joke.
  3. Check out if your book is really in the right category. Compare with bestsellers in your genre.
  4. Updated your e-book file and include a page within the first part of the book, asking readers to leave a review for you on Amazon; include a direct link to your books’ page. Add a link to your homepage and add all of your other books as well
  5. Don’t use your promotional days on the weekend (especially Saturday) because people are typically away from their computers and spending time with their families on the weekend, especially holiday weekends. Weekdays are generally better and if you can have at least two days back-to-back you will have more time to build momentum for your promotion.
  6. Inform the free book listing sites a month in advance to have your book listed – mostly for free. Make sure you list PixelofInk, EReaderNewsToday and Digital Book Today. Read their submission rules carefully.
  7. Write an article in your blog about your free days, and ping / share a link to this blog post on Google+, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest etc. several times a day in a variety of headlines.

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More promotional tips and dozens of links for free e-book promotions in Part 2 of this series.
See also a great blog article “The Secret Anatomy of KDP” by James Calbraith, where he explains “The algorithm shows your book to millions of readers; there is no ad that reaches more people, no social network campaign. However…”

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If you enjoyed this blog post, please feel free to check out all previous posts of this blog (there are almost 600 of them : ) if you haven’t already. Why not sign up to receive them regularly by email? Just click on “Follow” in the upper line on each page – and then on “LIKE” next to it. There is also the “SHARE” button underneath each article where you can submit the article to Pinterest, Google+, Twitter, Chime.in, Facebook, Tumblr and StumpleUpon.

Follow on Twitter: @111publishing

And don’t forget to spread the word on other social networking sites of your choice for other writers who might also enjoy this blog and find it useful. Thanks, Doris

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Young Readers Use Social Media to Discover Books

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Young E-Book Consumers Three Times More Likely to Use Social Media for Book Discovery reports Digital Book World.  Social media is an increasingly important discovery tool for all forms of entertainment, and the survey shows the impact it is having on the book publishing industry. 

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E-reading consumers who use Amazon or Barnes & Noble e-readers are more likely to use online and e-book storefronts as a book discovery tool, according to new research by NextMarket Insights.

Another interesting finding is the drastic difference in the usage of social media for e-book discovery by age group:
According to the survey findings, e-book reading consumers aged 18-29 are two times more likely to use social media for book discovery than those aged 45-60, and over three times more likely as those aged over 60.

Read the whole article / Press Release at Digital Book Worlds’ website.

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Watching TV Every Day? Success Indicator?

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Mary Ellen Tribby
 created this Success Indicator, Info-Graphic by MetEdge Do you want to know whether or not you are headed for success? See which side is the better one… As it might be hard to read, here the traits on the left side: The Success Factor Indicator

Successful People

  • Have a sense of gratitude 
  • Forgive others 
  • Accept responsibility for their failures 
  • Compliment 
  • Read everyday 
  • Keep a journal 
  • Talk about ideas 
  • Want others to succeed 
  • Share information and data 
  • Keep a “to-be” list 
  • Exude joy 
  • Keep a “to-do/project” list 
  • Set goals and develop life plans 
  • Embrace change 
  • Give others credit for their victories 
  • Operate from a trans-formational perspective

 

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A larger version can be found on Empirella.com or at Stephen’s Lighthouse

Note the one indicator for successful people:  READ EVERYDAY !  Like that!

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How to Write a Press Release for Your Book

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A book launch, a book award received, the sale of more than 100,000 copies, a new version of an existing book into digital format or audio book and even a holiday that fits to the books content, are reasons to send out a press releases.

A successful press release campaign needs to be well planned:

  • research of recipients
  • research of key words
  • research of benefits for readers
  • creating a compelling headline
  • get stunning photos
  • write first paragraph
  • write a catchy text 
  • editing, editing, editing
  • proof-reading
  • set up the format
  • contact the recipient
  • prepare for the interview
  • create more buzz

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Put together a file of contact people at newspapers, radio stations, TV stations and other organizations that would be a good fit. Make sure you email the right person. Before sending a release, do as much research as you can about the people you’re sending it to, and find out their name and their phone number for follow-up. A focused and tailored mailing list will garner more results.

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Write your release in a way that helps searchers find you online. Compile a list of the keywords and phrases that are most relevant to your book, and then cross-check these terms using Google’s keyword tool to assess search volume and competition for your core keywords in your headline and body text, and to find suggestions for other related keywords.
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To include images to your press release can make a huge difference in coverage. 80% of journalists and bloggers admitted to likely cover news that includes an image. Photographs also help your search strategy if you optimize the images for search by naming and tagging them with keywords.  If a picture is worth a thousand words, how much is a video worth? Adding a video along with a photo doubles the engagement rate. One more reason to create a marvelous book trailer.
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Write “tweetable” press release headlines. Data shows press releases that are shared via social media bring an average of six people back to the news distribution site to view the release.

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Journalists don’t read Press Releases!

They only “scan” them and if they don’t catch their interest in less than 5 seconds… they will delete it. In this fast-paced world, no one reads the entire press release – if the start of the article doesn’t garner interest. What can you do to get journalists reading?  Deal with actual facts––events, people, plans, projects. A simple method for writing an effective press release is to make a list of following points:  Who, what, when, where, why, and how.
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The content of the press release,
beginning with the date and city of origin, should be typed in a clear, basic font (Times New Roman, Arial, etc.) and double-spaced. Keep your Press Release short, one page is enough. Start with the date and city in which the press release originates.

The headline:
It should be brief, clear and to the point: an ultra-compact version of the press release’s key point. Headlines written in bold! A bold headline also typically uses a larger font size than the body copy.
First word capitalized. As are all proper nouns.
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The first paragraph
(not more than three sentences) should sum up the press release, and the additional content must elaborate it.
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The lead, or first sentence,
should grab the reader and tell concisely what is happening. For example, if the headline is “Norton Publishing releases new legal thriller,” the first sentence might be something like, “Norton Publishing, Ltd., today released their first legal thriller by celebrated writer Cindy Smith.” It expands the headline enough to fill in some of the details, and brings the reader further into the story. The next one to two sentences should then expand upon the lead.

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The press release body:
copy should be compact. Avoid using very long sentences and paragraphs. Avoid repetition and overuse of fancy language and jargon. Strive for simplicity, and no wasted words.
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The last paragraph
can summarize your news and be followed up with further information on your company, a paragraph known as the “boilerplate” which lists relevant information about your publishing company and includes the website for more information.
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Follow up quickly
Don’t send out your news release and forget about it. Call within a day or two to make sure the announcement was received. However, don’t call an editor or reporter when they are on a deadline. When calling, verify that they have time to talk. Be available when a reporter calls and have an “elevator pitch” ready: why your release is important to their readers and viewers.

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Post the news on your web site
The more back-links point to your content, the more value search engines will assign to it … so you should consider executing a mini social media blitz right after your news hits the wire:

  1. Do not only send out a Press Release, tweet the news with a link to the announcement on your web site (and have friends and family tweet it too)
  2. Post your news with a link to the announcement on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+ (very important for SEO)
  3. Create and post a video on YouTube, talking about the announcement and link back to the article
  4. Embed the YouTube video into a blog post and link back to the announcement pages on other social networks such as Reddit, Digg and StumbleUpon.

The combined effect of all of this promotion, as soon as the announcement is made, will be a four to five times increase in traffic  – thanks to the improved search engine rankings of the news.
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Find sample Press Releases here:

http://www.publicityinsider.com/release.asp

http://www.lunareclipse.net/book-press-release-example.htm

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As with everything you learn now as author-publisher-entrepreneur:  When you do it the first time, it is a bit of en effort, but from the second Press Release on the learning curve is very steep, you have already a prototype, you have your checklist, you have a number of journalists, reporter and blogger coordinates in your files and now you just need to craft the article, which should be a breeze.  After all you are a writer, right?

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If you enjoyed this blog post, please feel free to check out all previous posts of this blog (there are 670 of them : ) if you haven’t already. Why not sign up to receive them regularly by email? Just click on “Follow” in the upper line on each page – and then on “LIKE” next to it. There is also the “SHARE” button underneath each article where you can submit the article to Pinterest, Google+, Twitter, Chime.in, Facebook, Tumblr and StumpleUpon.

Follow on Twitter: @111publishing

And don’t forget to spread the word on other social networking sites of your choice for other writers who might also enjoy this blog and find it useful. Thanks, Doris

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7 Errors To Avoid When Dealing With the Media

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You have written this fantastic thriller, perfectly edited, your book has a stunning cover and already received praise from reviewers.

Still your books’ sales are not what you envisioned when you started your author-publishing… I am talking here not only about author-published books, but also those who are published traditionally. In print your book has only a very small window of three months to make or break it in bookstores. After that, remaining copies will be returned to the publisher (the bookstore will not order it again, if it did not “make it”) and sold by your publisher for a very low price to mass markets (in the best case) or trashed.

To get the word out about the upcoming book launch, to receive positive articles in newspapers., magazine, book blogs, or to get interviews, writers should professionally deal with anyone who could tout their book – not only national press or TV. Often book bloggers can do more than a newspaper for your book to be discovered. After all, they have the right audience. Don’t be surprised when you never get an answer to your press releases if you don’t provide a compelling reason for the journalist or interviewer how their listeners/readers profit from your information.

Don’t make these common errors:

  1. Not having a press page on your website
    Unfortunately most writers are not aware that journalists, bloggers or radio hosts need a bit more information than what they see on your Amazon page. And they won’t just copy and paste your “about the author” or the description of your book on the sales page. Check out Stephen Kings website, one of the best of all authors. His whole website is almost a press release, but see how he organized his page for the media: http://www.stephenking.com/press.php
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  2. Not offering a variety of cover photos
    For internet articles media people need images in jpeg or gif and for print a TIFF version is necessary. As more pixels as better. Offer several versions / sizes on your website for download or copy/paste. Get this versions from your cover designer when creating your books cover, which is often included. When ordering it later, they (rightfully) charge you for a second order. See again Stephen Kings website how he deals with press photos and how easy he makes it for journalists.
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  3. Not giving full information
    Journalists are usually lousy paid. They work hard, always under deadline pressures. Make it easy for them and provide exact links about anything that was ever written about your book, any interviews, and links to videos, from your book trailer to taped interviews. Don’t hide these links, write them open. This way it is easy to copy and paste it for the blogger or journalist and to work with your information. It happens so many times that I ask authors if they had any interviews. They write back “yes”, but not when, where, with whom and if there is any documentation, such as a blog, a newspaper interview or a video available. There is more:
    Show prominently on the front of your web page a link or a button to your book order page. Not everyone wants to browse through the whole website and search for purchase information.
    A good idea is to think about possible questions and what could be interesting for the interviewer and listeners/readers and offer this list. Sometimes the interviewer didn’t even have time to read your book and will be thankful for any help you can provide.
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  4. Not having a (virtual) portfolio at all
    Visual artists have usually wonderful portfolios including snippets from media articles about their work or praise from art collectors and customers. Why not writers? Why not collecting (copy/paste) everything that was ever written about your book or excerpts of book reviews and add it to your website. Maybe offering a chapter or part of it for readers before they order your book. Providing website visitors with exact links to all of your sales pages. It is called world wide web, which means if you book is available to customers in Japan, India, Brazil or the UK, they are thankful to immediately find out where on Amazon, Kobo or any other online retailer they can buy your book and important: getting the exact link to your sales page.
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  5. Not following up
    Don’t send out your news release and forget about it. Follow up quickly. You searched and found the right person to send your press release, so call within a day or two to make sure the announcement was received. However, don’t call an editor or reporter when they are on a deadline. A general rule of thumb is not to contact a newsroom in the late afternoon. Ask their secretary which time is best. When calling, verify that they have time to talk. Be available when a reporter calls and tell them why your release is important to their readers and viewers.
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  6. Not being prepared for one-on-one interviews
    OK you worked hard to send out these press releases and your finally get the call for a radio show interview – this afternoon. You almost faint, as you are not prepared at all… You know, if you decline, you will not be invited – ever.
    So better be prepared, start before you even sent out your press releases. Good interviewing skills and techniques can be learned. There are quite a few books out there, just to mention one, by Sharyn Doolan, “Media Training and Presentation Skills. How to deal with the Media for Business and Profit.” And it costs … $0.99
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  7. Not becoming familiar with the media outlet
    No matter if you deal with a newspaper/magazine, radio or TV: do your homework and get familiar with their former articles and possible interview questions, their writing style, the names of their interviewers, journalists etc. If you are to be interviewed in person, get to know how you can reach their studio and allow plenty of time. Calculate to be there at least an hour or two before the interview starts.
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Rule # 1
Build relationships months in advance of pitching! Patrick Garmoe wrote a great article on Copyblogger, geared to small businesses, but his great advise how to pitch the media can be used by writers as well. Some of his most important tips here:

  • Connect on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, or in real life more than six months in advance of pitching a reporter.
  • Monitor the Twitter hash tags of your community. Often reporters chat with the public on Twitter, and you can respond to comments they make.
  • Compliment a reporter via Twitter, Facebook, or e-mail on a story he or she did.
  • Introduce yourself to reporters at big public events. Pass along your card, but don’t try and sell them the idea on the spot. Just connect with them.
  • Leave a comment at the end of the online version of a story a reporter did, which you genuinely liked.
  • Congratulate them on personal news they post.
  • Write a positive blog post, highlighting their story, and e-mail them the link.
  • Respond regularly to posts they’ve written either on their blog, or on a local community blog you have noticed they post on.
  • Visit city council meetings in your town. Typically there’s a reporter sitting around, bored, that you can build a relationship with. But wait and meet them several times before pitching anything.
  • Sign up on helpareporter.com. Several e-mail lists are sent out daily, full of reporters needing experts for stories. Jump on those that fall within your expertise.
  • Scout publications with smaller and more targeted readerships, such as a local weekly publications. These media outlets are often run by just two or three people, and they often jump at a guest column or article by you because it will save them the time of tracking down a story on their own.
  • Listen to AM radio stations, especially on weekday mornings or on Saturdays. Befriend one of the regular show hosts. Often they sometimes highlight a writer/artist/business that is doing something the public might find interesting.
  • Don’t spend money on an online press release site early on. Those online press release systems are more useful for building inbound links, or if you are already a recognized expert with a track record, and there’s a major news event breaking that you could discuss.

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Many writers dream of the exposure their book could receive in print or online articles, or on a popular radio or TV show. It is one step more in your book PR efforts – not the start of a million book sales avalanche – rather an opportunity to maybe get a free video recording of your interview or another article for your book’s portfolio. It also increases your recognition as an author and is a great sales argument when dealing with libraries or bookstores. Don’t forget: PR is a long-term strategy!
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To be considered for an article or interview you have to show that you are a professional author. No media employee or book blogger wants to deal with clueless beginners and help them with every detail in the process. More about how to write successful press releases in an upcoming blog post.

Further reading:
http://www.gdrc.org/ngo/media/index.html
http://www.staashpress.com/article21.html
http://hughespr.wordpress.com/2011/09/09/going-it-alone/
http://www.copyblogger.com/irresistible-pr/

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If you enjoyed this blog post, please feel free to check out all previous posts of this blog (there are almost 600 of them : ) if you haven’t already. Why not sign up to receive them regularly by email? Just click on “Follow” in the upper line on each page – and then on “LIKE” next to it. There is also the “SHARE” button underneath each article where you can submit the article to Pinterest, Google+, Twitter, Chime.in, Facebook, Tumblr and StumpleUpon.

Follow on Twitter: @111publishing

And don’t forget to spread the word on other social networking sites of your choice for other writers who might also enjoy this blog and find it useful. Thanks, Doris

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Never Say Sorry …

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xNeverSaySorry

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Never Say Sorry Thriller Rose Edmunds

Claudia Knight is a straight-talking, feisty journalist hungry for her first big scoop. When she receives
a tip-off that pharma giant BEP has suppressed a natural cancer cure she’s sceptical, until her
source becomes the victim of a hit-and-run and his proof disappears.

Corporate financier Hugo Fleming likes the good life – but he’s broke. The promotion he
desperately needs hinges on the successful completion of BEP’s bid to take over bio-software
company IDD, run by glamorous and celebrated ethical businesswoman, Julia Fraser. But bulldog
boss Stephanie is breathing down his neck, and somehow Hugo can’t seem to stay out of trouble.

When Claudia and Hugo’s paths cross by chance, they clash and sparks fly. But like it or not, their
fates become entwined as they both hunt for the missing proof. In a search that takes them from
London to New Jersey and Rio, the pair are plunged into a world of mysterious hedge funds, secret
insider trading and unexplained killings. To what lengths will they go to find the truth? And how far
will the dark forces at work go to keep it hidden?

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Length: 364 pages            xRoseEdmunds
Amazon.com:
Kindle Price: $8.99
Paperback $12.64
Amazon.co.uk: £8.99
Available at Waterstones in the UK

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About the author

Rose Edmunds gained a degree in mathematics at the University of Sussex and a doctorate from Cardiff University, before qualifying as a chartered accountant and embarking on a successful career in professional services. She worked for Arthur Andersen and Grant Thornton, before being headhunted to join Deloitte as a partner. After 20 years in the business, she decided to jump off the corporate hamster wheel and focus all her energy on writing commercial thrillers. Her second book is already to be launched this year. Rose Edmunds is a thriller writer who understands how big business and the City (London Business District) works, and who concentrates on the ethical dilemmas that modern commercial life poses.

Read a great article about the author and her book at Economia Magazine
“She’s done the time – now she’s turned to crime”

Read an interview with Rose Edmunds
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xRoseEdmundsBooksigning

 

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How to Get More Followers on Your Google+ Page

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Google+ or Google Plus, no matter how you write it, is an author’s best friend. Why? Here are just a couple of reasons to join for the ones that are not already on Google Plus, more in an article from September 2011 “7 Reasons to be on Google+“:

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Search Engine Ranking:  As the main search engine Google indexes and ranks its own site much higher than any other content. Google+ posts are easily indexed by Google search, and unlike tweets or Facebook posts, are treated much like regular web pages. That means a well-constructed G+ post – with a main keyword in the first sentence / title and a good amount of engagement – can rank well in Google search and stay ranked for a long time.
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Google+ helps in building your author rank content, and your author reputation will be determined by your Google+ activity, e.g. how many +1’s (Likes or re-tweets) you receive and in how many circles you are.
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An important step in claiming authorship is to link from your blog to your Google+ profile and linking back from Google+ to your blog.
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On Google+ authors can create a separate page for each of their books. You have immense space to show images, such as your books cover, even if it has 36 MB, which I just tried out. And you can show images as often as you want during the day. Important tip: Always add the image of your book cover first, and once it shows up, add text and link to Amazon, B&N etc. If you start with the link, only the ugly generic icon from Amazon appears, not showing your cover at all.
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On Google+ you can publish your press releases, blogs, testimonials, case studies and news. The difference with Google+ is that your content, if found, will be listed at the top of Google personal results mixed in with traditional search results.
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Google+ works with “circles”, which will enable you to “separate” your readers from your private followers or to divide genres in which you write, for sample romance from children’s book readers. Each of your posts can get different audiences.
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Another great feature are the “Hangouts”, which can be “used for interviews, small-group Webinars, question and answer sessions etc.
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Then there is the Event-Planner where book launches and book signings can be announced, including a map where the event takes place. This way an author in Melbourne, Australia can invite people to her book signing or a book launch party in New Orleans can be brought to the attention of readers. URL

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Set up the automatic function of transferring your Google+ posts to Twitter, as described in a blog last month.
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Don’t forget to be “social” and comment and +plus other peoples content. It is called social network, not advertising board, so engage a bit with others and appreciate their posts, it is a two-way lane after all…
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How can you get lots of followers on your Google+ presence?

  • First of all your Google+ page needs to be attractive for visitors: Spend some time optimizing your Google+ page and building it up with content and posts before you start promoting your presence.
  • Use lots of images, get links to free images at former blog posts, where we listed free photo sites.
  • Announce your Google+ page on your other social media sites.
    If people are following you on social networks like Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and Twitter, they already find value in the content you are sharing.
  • Write a blog post about your new Google+ Page,
    what you’ll be sharing there, and why your blog readers should want to follow you.
  • Include a Google+ Badge on your blog or website.
    Link your Google+ page to your site. Get more recommendations for your site in Google search and grow your audience on Google+. Just go to Google developers and copy / paste the code there into your website code (choose between an icon, or a small or standard badge).

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Now you can invite people into your circles:

  1. Use the icon on the left side of your Google+ page, from there go to “find people” around reader keywords: (type them into the search function on top of your page) book lovers – book worms – reading – books – reads – literature – e-books – Kindle books – publishing – novels etc. and add interesting people to your circles. Try to find readers, not writers and build your own circles.
  2. Visit other Google+ circles to find like-minded “Googler’s”
  3. Transfer your Gmail account contacts and add them to your circles

Bill Hartzer gives these tips in a great post:

– Follow people and add them to a Circle.
– Wait a period of time and see if they follow you back.
– If they aren’t active and they haven’t followed you back, then consider removing them from your Circles.
The timing of all of this (adding people to Circles, waiting for them to follow you back, removing them from Circles, etc.) is really up to you–I recommend keeping it to about 250 people a day, although there are some limits on Google+:

– You can only follow 5000 people at any one time.
– There is NO limit to the number of people who can follow you.
– There is a limit to adding people to circles, which is 1000 per day.

Read his very useful post with lots of screen shots.

A great help in establishing your Google+ presence is Guy Kawasaki’s e-book (only 99cents) “What the Plus” – which we already described in a former blog post.
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Google+, which was only officially launched in June 2011, has now already more than 400 million registered users, and more than 135 million active users and is rapidly growing. Compare it with Twitter which has only 500 million total users after almost seven years, and more than 200 million active users. Let us know about YOUR Google+ presence and we will add you into our circles. Find our brand new publishing page http://bit.ly/VmtVAS which we just launched, beside the other page, that has around 2,000 followers and 4,600 following (no time to un-follow : )

Google+ is just like any other social network. In order to be social, you need to have friends. You need other people on your social network to interact with, people who are active members of that social network. If they don’t log in on a regular basis and keep their profile active, they can’t interact with you.

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If you enjoyed this blog post, please feel free to check out all previous posts of this blog (there are almost 600 of them : ) if you haven’t already. Why not sign up to receive them regularly by email? Just click on “Follow” in the upper line on each page – and then on “LIKE” next to it. There is also the “SHARE” button underneath each article where you can submit the article to Pinterest, Google+, Twitter, Chime.in, Facebook, Tumblr and StumpleUpon.

Follow on Twitter: @111publishing

And don’t forget to spread the word on other social networking sites of your choice for other writers who might also enjoy this blog and find it useful. Thanks, Doris

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How to Add Friends (Readers) on Goodreads

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Goodreads

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Goodreads, THE social media site for avid readers, is a virtual version of a book club and a great opportunity to show off your own books as an author, to find new readers and reviewers and join a book lover community.  So, you signed up on Goodreads and what now? (I heard this comment pretty often…)  First of all you need an audience, as on all Social Media sites and forums. As larger as better!

How do I add friends – old and new ones?
Adding friends is easy. Before you search for new friends on Goodreads, encourage your existing friends to sign up for a Goodreads account and to friend you on the site. Goodreads has an easy “Add Friends” tool that searches through your existing friends list on Facebook, Twitter or contacts from Yahoo! Mail, AOL, MSN eMail and Google’s Gmail. See which friends are already Goodreads members and add them.
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Find Friends From

gmail_iconGmail

hotmail_iconHotmail

facebook_iconFacebook

twitter_iconTwitter

yahoo_iconyahoo

Goodreads

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Friends of friends

When you get a “Friends Requests” by email and you go to their Goodreads page, you will see the invitation to add your Yahoo / Twitter / Facebook / Gmail…. contacts to your Goodreads friends on the top right corner.

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 Friends > Requests

  from   confirmation
Nancy
572 books
225 friends
Glen Riddle Lima, PA
Friendship approved
top friend2 hours, 23 min agocompare books
Patrick
59 books
610 friends
Friendship approved
top friend6 hours, 58 min agocompare books

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If you already have the profile link for someone you’d like to friend, just go to their profile, then click “add as a friend” which is beneath the “about me” section.

If you want to find your friends on Goodreads and you don’t have profile links, just click on the tiny friends icon in the header of your page, which is located directly to the left of your profile image. Then select the “add friends” tab. The “friends of friends” button (a bulk function) works only if you have less than 1,000 friends. But you can certainly click on friends of friends on their site manually and “add as a friend”.
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There is also this function “Meet People”, where you can find top users, top readers, top reviewers or most popular reviewers for sample, to invite them as friends:

You can even invite friends to Goodreads on the iPhone app. Goodreads explains:

You can invite friends from your phone’s address book, your email contacts, or your Facebook friends.
1) From the home screen, tap ‘Friends’ (it should be on the bottom right).
2) On the top right, select ‘Add Friends’.
3) From there, you will be asked where you want to search for your friends. Choose appropriately*.
4) Contacts already on Goodreads will have an ‘add’ button, while contacts who haven’t yet joined will have an ‘invite’ button. Tap ‘add’ to send a friend request or tap ‘invite’ to send an invitation to Goodreads.
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*Choosing ’email contacts’ will take you into your browser. Choosing ‘Facebook friends’ might open the Facebook app to ask you to grant posting permission – don’t worry, we won’t post anything unless you tap ‘invite’ next to a Facebook contact.

Using all these possibilities to add friends to Goodreads you should have a thousand or more new readers / friends in no time. As always, use Goodreads’ HELP section for any questions you might have, and if it is not covered and a search doesn’t bring results, drop them an email..

Take advantage of the great possibilities at Goodreads to present your book:
Listing your print book for a giveaway is a great way to get free exposure for a book before and during its launch. List any title that is not yet released or was released during the last 6 months. Or upload an e-book with the “add e-book” links and let users browse, preview, download, and even purchase your work.

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If you enjoyed this blog post, please feel free to check out all previous posts of this blog (there are almost 600 of them : ) if you haven’t already. Why not sign up to receive them regularly by email? Just click on “Follow” in the upper line on each page – and then on “LIKE” next to it. There is also the “SHARE” button underneath each article where you can submit the article to Pinterest, Google+, Twitter, Chime.in, Facebook, Tumblr and StumpleUpon.

Follow us on Twitter: @111publishing

And don’t forget to spread the word on other social networking sites of your choice for other writers who might also enjoy this blog and find it useful. Thanks, Doris

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How to Get More Followers on Your Social Media Sites

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Cafe

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Joining Goodreads, Twitter, Google+, Facebook or Pinterest is only the first step in creating a community platform. To make these sites working for you is only possible if you have lots of followers, friends or people in your Google+ circles.

Don’t be a Tweep with a pathetic following of less than 100 people. And don’t sign up with only one or two Social Media sites. Take advantage of the great possibilities of sharing among all these sites. It is almost the same “work” if you are on one site, compared to having a presence on six or eight sites through the help of plug-ins and sharing buttons, as outlined in former blog posts.  So can visitors on your Goodreads page click on the Google+ or the Facebook icon and send a message about you and your book to thousands of their followers. Google+ then sends the message automatically to Twitter. To have lots of Twitter followers is beneficial for your Goodreads presence, as you can transfer Twitter followers with one click over to Goodreads!

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More followers also means people assume you are someone interesting or an expert. It extends your popularity, influence and more book sales.

No matter which sites you join, create an attractive profile, complete with an avatar that shows a favorable and professional portrait and a solid bio. Often people will read your bio before deciding whether to follow you. If you own a company and want to use your brand as your avatar instead of a photograph, this is fine. You have to create your profile only once, and then copy and paste into every new Social Media sites you join.

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Let’s start with TWITTER
Display links to your Twitter account in your email signature, your blog or website, business cards, on other social media sites —everywhere.

Re-tweeting your followers is a non-brain-er. Be generous in linking and re-tweeting others. You do not have to sit all day long on your computer to do this. Check tweets once a day and pack interesting ones into Buffer.com, who will spread them throughout the day.

Share only valuable content. Be generous, inspiring, entertaining, provide useful links. Provide content that people are proud to provide to their own followers.

To actively increase the amount of followers:

  • Use the search function to find like-minded Tweeps, e.g. type: reader, reading, book lovers
  • Type into the search function words with hash tags #amreading or #GoodReads
  • Check out suggestions: Who to follow on your left bar of your Twitter page
  • See who other Tweeps are following or who is following them

Using hash tags # is another way to connect to people with similar interests and to increase the visibility of your tweets. Add hash tags to your tweets and also create tweets based on hash tags that are popular on Twitter at the time (you can see these as “trends” on the left-hand side of your Twitter home page).

Don’t buy followers.
There are many offers, however, this is contrary to Twitter Rules. These artificial followers who have no affinity for you,  won’t ever re-tweet you or buy your book, mostly they are not even real people

Un-follow people who haven’t followed you back after a while.
This is especially important to avoid “follow limits”. The first limit at Twitter you might hit, is when you have followed 2,000 people. You won’t be able to follow any more until you have 2,000 followers. So remove your non-followers, using Manageflitter.com or Unfollow.com – but don’t use their really annoying feature that tweets on your page: “Got 5 followers and 9 un-followers”. This is not only an absolutely useless tweet, but makes you at the same time a free advertiser for them!
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Paid services, e.g. Tweet Adder or Hootsuite, offer to automate Tweet posts throughout the day (after you have scheduled them), to Facebook, LinkedIn, and Myspace, create unique tweets automatically or send a thank-you messages to your new followers. Once you have reached 2,000 followers, there is no further limit  and you will see an increase in high-volume and more quality follower offers.
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The next post will introduce readers how to find more friends and followers on Goodreads and Google+. Stay tuned! Click on the tiny Follow button on top of this blog page to get notified of new posts.

Read more about this topic:

12 Smart Ways to Boost Social Media Efforts

How to Become a Star on TWITTER

How to Get More Re-Tweets

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If you enjoyed this blog post, please feel free to check out all previous posts of this blog (there are almost 600 of them : )  if you haven’t already. Why not sign up to receive them regularly by email? Just click on “Follow” in the upper line on each page – and then on “LIKE” next to it. There is also the “SHARE” button underneath each article where you can submit the article to Pinterest, Google+, Twitter, Chime.in, Facebook, Tumblr and StumpleUpon.

Follow on Twitter: @111publishing

And don’t forget to spread the word on other social networking sites of your choice for other writers who might also enjoy this blog and find it useful. Thanks, Doris

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Writing-Vacations in New York State, Florida and Japan

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FishersIsland

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You might have read in previous blog posts about residencies in Colorado & Arizona, California, Maine, Maryland and Michigan or how to apply for these residencies.
Dreaming still of undisturbed writing without interruptions and nasty chores?  Have a look at these writers residencies / fellowships offering work-vacationing in New York State, Florida and Japan.
January and February are good months to apply, deadlines approaching fast!
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The Lighthouse Works Fellowships
Fellowships are six weeks in length and occur year-round. The Lighthouse Works provides fellows with housing, food, studio space for six weeks, a $250 travel allowance and a stipend of $1,500 stipend. Location Fishers Island, New York.

Fishers Island, New York, is a small island located in the Long Island Sound just off the coast of Connecticut, accessible by ferry from New London, Connecticut, and by private or commuter boat from Noank, Connecticut. The island is isolated, but not remote; New York City and Boston are both within three hours of the island, and public transportation to any major east coast city is easily accessible. More information on the island life and how to apply for the residency:
http://www.thelighthouseworks.com/

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Atlantic Center for the Arts
During the residency, artists participate in informal sessions with their group, interact/collaborate, and work independently on their own projects. The relaxed atmosphere, unstructured program and lush, unspoiled environment provide considerable time for artistic experimentation, exploration and creation. Location New Smyrna Beach, Florida. Application deadlines: February 3 for Spring, March 24 for Summer and May 19 for Fall residency. Full and partial scholarships provided.
http://www.aca35.org/ and http://www.aca35.org/how-apply-master-artist-residence-program-0

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ArtCenterNewSmyrna


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Japan – United States Creative Artist / Writer Program

Candidates must be citizens or permanent residents of the United States. Candidates must be professional creative artists (contemporary or traditional) working as creative writers, designers, media artists, playwrights, architects, choreographers, composers, visual artists and solo theater artists who work with original material.
A grant award of $20,000 will be provided to each artist to cover housing, living and professional expenses. Artists will be responsible for converting their dollar award into yen. The Commission will also provide selected artists up to $2,000 to cover the cost of his/her round-trip transportation to Japan.
Deadline is March 1, 2012. A hard copy !!! of the application must be received at the Commission’s office by the close of business 5 PM on the deadline date. Candidates may submit their applications via regular mail, commercial delivery service or messenger. Commercial delivery services are recommended.
http://www.jusfc.gov/creative-artists-programs/faqs/

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OMI_LedigHouse

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OMI International Arts Center Residency

The Omi International Arts Center welcomes published writers and translators of every type of literature. International, cultural and creative exchange is a foundation of our mission, and a wide distribution of national background is an important part of our selection process. Guests may select a residency of one week to two months; about ten at a time gather to live and work in a rural setting overlooking the Catskill Mountains. Ledig House provides all meals, and each night a local chef prepares dinner. Daytime is reserved for writing and quiet activities, while evenings are more communal. A program of weekly visits bring guests from the New York publishing community. Noted editors, agents and book scouts are invited to share dinner and conversation on both creative and practical subjects, offering insight into the workings of the publishing industry, and introductions to some of its key professionals.

Omi International Arts Center is located two and a half hours north of New York City in the historic Hudson River Valley. Named for a neighboring village, Omi is close to the small town of Ghent, New York, as well as Albany and Hudson, which offer train connections only thirty minutes away. 300 acres in the Hudson Valley region of New York, amidst a 10 acre contemporary sculpture park, The Fields Sculpture Park. Location Ghent, NY.
Duration: Writers residencies from 2 weeks to 2 months. Paid by artist: Individual travel expenses, personal needs, working material. Paid by host: Accommodation, board, studio space.
Please visit the Omi website to read all the guidelines and criteria per discipline. Applications must be submitted electronically. Mark your calendar: The application period for 2014 Residencies will open in February 2013
http://www.artomi.org/writers.php

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omi5

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Find out more about international writers and artists residencies: Trans Artists sends out monthly newsletters with themes, stories, opinions, reviews, facts & fiction about artist-in-residence (AiR) opportunities. http://www.transartists.org/

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If you enjoyed this blog post, please feel free to check out all previous posts of this blog (there are almost 600 of them : ) if you haven’t already. Why not sign up to receive them regularly by email? Just click on “Follow” in the upper line on each page – and then on “LIKE” next to it. There is also the “SHARE” button underneath each article where you can submit the article to Pinterest, Google+, Twitter, Chime.in, Facebook, Tumblr and StumpleUpon.

Follow on Twitter: @111publishing

And don’t forget to spread the word on other social networking sites of your choice for other writers who might also enjoy this blog and find it useful. Thanks, Doris
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