Archives for August 2015

How Smart Authors Get Their Books into Libraries

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Library-of-Congress
Library of Congress in Washington D.C. – Wikipedia

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Do you want to get your books into libraries, but don’t know how to do it?  Get here the background info from librarians – and which library supplier and aggregator is the best for author-publishers!
I just read an article by Nate Hoffelder where he curated: “Why Librarians Don’t Want Your Self-Published Book”.  For sure a catchy title that gets author’s attention! It was first used by Librarian Molly Wetta on her “Wrapped up in Books
blog post from August 17.
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Librarians are NOT Resisting Self-published Books.
They are just facing tight constraints on both, their time (to purchase books) and budget.  And they are bound by certain procedures.  Including a book, for example, requires to have existing records ready to add to the library’s catalog.
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Librarian Molly Wetta Explains:
“Self-published books might not be available from the library’s main vendor, who has to do a number of tasks to make the book ready to be shelved in a library (a protective cover, property stamps, stickers to identify the proper location of the item, etc.).  This is as an extra step if it is purchased by a different vendor – and that’s only if the policies allow the library to do that in the first place (sometimes a library is restricted to specific vendors).”

“Even when librarians want to buy a self-published book, they are still constrained by a limited budget.  Books need to be in DEMAND and of great QUALITY.  This certainly applies to all books, and not just self-published, but the latter are often more difficult to quantify.
It’s not that librarians are completely unwilling to buy self-published books, it’s just that the systems aren’t in place yet (or aren’t yet robust enough) to make it easy to evaluate the quality and to efficiently bring them to patrons.”
Another Librarian and Book Purchaser Commented:
“I make a special note to go into the self-published section of the Overdrive marketplace and locate some gems.  It appears as if the full Smashwords catalog is not immediately available in the OverDrive Marketplace – as I find the faceted searching very basic and apt to yield similar results.  However, as a librarian, if there is a title you know of, but can’t find, you can place a request to have it added.  Make sure you have a great cover.  I will only purchase books whose covers can sit well next to ‘published’ titles.  Also the better the price, the more copies I will buy if the title is in demand.”
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Who Supplies Books to Libraries?
OverDrive, eBooksAreForever, Quality Books Inc., UniqueBooks, eBookPartnership, etc. are suppliers for the libraries.  OverDrive, for example, initially isolated self-published books in a “ghetto”, separating books from Smashwords, from others.  As an author you might see your own book, uploaded from Smashwords on their library list, but librarians who have different pages to order books, don’t see them.  As a librarian explained in a comment:
“The e-books from Smashwords are still separated from other e-books and placed in a ghetto along with e-books from Author Solutions…  This happens in the backend site that librarians use to purchase material – not the site library users / readers or authors – have access to. Librarians looking to purchase ebooks from Smashwords have to know what they are looking for, because they are in a separate catalog and can’t be found through a regular search.
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The Problem with OverDrive / Smashwords
“Both are not even remotely solving this first large hurdle to getting self-publishers into libraries.  It has little to do with tiers or the self-publishing ghetto, but much more to do with the fact that roughly 200,000 titles were dumped into Overdrive’s platform without any system in place to help librarians evaluate those titles.  It’s also worth noting that a large majority of the more successful indies bypass Smashwords altogether; why pay Smashwords 15% of net when you can just go direct – with eBookPartnership.com?  Also, Overdrive / Smashwords only net authors 45% of list price for library purchases.  It’s just not a solution to the problems librarians are dealing with.”

“When librarians are purchasing ebooks from OverDrive, they are on a special website that is only available to libraries who subscribe to OverDrive.  On that site, ebooks from Smashwords are separated from the main ebook catalog in a special section that can’t be searched or browsed without going to it specifically.  This means that librarians purchasing ebooks, have to make a special effort to go there, and it isn’t intuitive to find it or use it.  There is a public version of the OverDrive catalog, and the self-published titles are integrated there, but librarians doing the purchasing aren’t using this.”
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“Self-published ebooks are available in the main purchasing catalog through eBookPartnership,  but the ones from Smashwords aren’t and never were.  This issue was never resolved because OverDrive refuses to consider it as a problem that needs resolution.“

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The Solution for Authors: eBook-Partnership
eBookpartnership works with more than 65,000 libraries! and additionally places your book in North America also to Apple, Baker & Taylor, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, and Ingram. In Europe, they upload / deliver to Askew & Holts, Blackwell’s, BlioBook, Depository, Kalahari.net, Waterstones, Whitcoulls, and WH Smith for example.
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You certainly can make yourself more flexible in terms of organizing KDP sales promotions – place your book by yourself to all Amazon’s Kindle Stores: US, UK, France, Germany, Italy and Spain, Brazil, Japan, India etc.  However, eBookpartnership can upload it for you to Amazon as well.  There are no fees for updates to your metadata from them – which is very rare among aggregators – but you can do it faster on Amazon by yourself.
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The Benefit of eBookpartnership
eBookpartnership’s annual fee – no hidden costs – is for 1 to 9 titles just $50 (£35) per title. Authors can save at least several dozen hours for uploading their books, and even more hours (and headache) for accounting with these retailers.  If you work on Windows, you would need to use a Mac computer for the upload to Apple. It’s easier to let them do it.
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Best of all, eBookpartnership does not take commissions. You will keep 100% of the revenue from online retailers and “brick & mortar stores”.
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However, you should always buy your own ISBN’s, preferably a block of ten before publishing and don’t forget to register – for free – your book worldwide with Bowker’s database, which goes to all bookstores and libraries in the world.
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Promote Your Books to Libraries
Many libraries accept purchase requests from their patrons (which can be online on their websites or in person in the library).  Once a book is in their shelves and receives a couple dozen hold / lending requests, they will order more copies!
Minimum requirement for selling to libraries or their suppliers is certainly that you are the owner of the books ISBN (NOT from Smashwords, CreateSpace etc.) and that you listed your book into the worldwide database of books in print titles at Bowkers.
And don’t forget: ALWAYS have your contact, social media sites, your book sales pages and a request for a review in your last pages of every one of your books, no matter if print or e-book! See also The Secret of Professional Author Publishing.

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How to Demonstrate the Quality of Your Books
Aside from proofing high sales numbers, authors could put their e-books into Biblioboard’s Self-e platform, which means visibility which could lead to sales.  Maybe even paid book reviews from a legacy source (PW, Kirkus Book Reviews etc) would help?

Books for library use in the USA need to be registered with the Library of Congress Catalog “Books in Publication”.  A note printed on the upperleft back cover should indicate the type of book and the topic: reference/book publishing, writing/reference, history, autobiography, parenting, and so forth. Get detailed information about registering your books (before and after publication date) from the Library of Congress website and information about Bowker’s worldwide book listings at our blog

A note, printed on the upper left back cover of the book layout should indicate the type of book, and the topic, such as history, autobiography, writing/reference, parenting etc.
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Local Authors Collection at Libraries
“The Greater Victoria Public Library in Victoria, BC, Canada – GVPL – started an Emerging Local Authors Collection this year, intended for (mostly) self-published books.  They report: “Clear guidelines were posted on the library’s website, including the geographic area where the authors live, the durability of books and the fact that one copy of each book would be donated by the author.  The books were fully cataloged and the collection was launched with an evening reception for the authors and their guests.  The books are prominently displayed at our Central Branch and have been circulating briskly.  At the end of one year, books that have proven themselves by high circulations may be added to the permanent collection.”
Writer Audrey Driscoll: “ Next spring another collection will be made available, possibly including e-books.  I am one of the authors with a book in the collection.  I sent in my application like any other local author.  I think this is a good way to showcase local authors. But it did take considerable time for two librarians (a collections librarian and a cataloger) to make it happen.”

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Conclusion:
Have an excellent book who’s genre is in demand, which has been professionally edited, with a fantastic cover, lots of positive and professional reviews and proven sales, many people that request your book at libraries, your own ISBN, listed at the Library of Congress, listed in Bowker’s worldwide database of books, and distributed to libraries via eBookPartnership, and be included in the Library Journal’s curated collections, SELF-e Select.

Talk to the programming or events coordinator at your library and offer a free reading from your books or a free class for local writers where you explain the writing / publishing process – and maybe even find a couple of new readers or book buyers for your own work.
Once you have “your foot in the door” your next books will be much easier to get into libraries.
More about the first of Library Journal’s curated collections, SELF-e Select in a future blog post.  Stay tuned.

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If you would like to get a mentor and our support in all things publishing, have your book intensively promoted and learn how to navigate social media sites – or learn how you can make yourself a name as an author through content writing: We offer for three months all this and more for only $179 – or less than $2 per day!  Learn more about this customized Online Seminar / Consulting / Book Marketing for your success: http://www.111Publishing.com/Seminars

To learn more about professional book marketing and publishing, please read also
“Book Marketing on a Shoestring”
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00UAVL3LE

Our email newsletters with free insider tips are sent out once a month. To sign up, just go to the form on the right site of each blog post.
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How to Create a New Book – Without Writing

Book-Bundles.

Just found this on Amazon: The Dresden Files Collection 1-6 (The Dresden Files Box-Set) Kindle Edition.  A box-set creation or bundling of your titles can be done in e-books, print and even in audiobook format.

You don’t have to be a multi-book author before you can start “bundling” your book.  One book needs only to be in print and digital format – and voilà! you have a bundle.  At Amazon it’s called “Kindle Match Book”.  Customers will also be able to buy inexpensive e-copies of books they have previously bought in hardcover or paperback.
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The most expensive titles will be offered for $2.99; the rest will be $1.99, 99 cents or, in some cases, even free.  If you sell on Amazon, they request: “the Promotional List Price options must be at least 50% lower than the regular Digital List Price for the Kindle MatchBook program, in order to be a compelling discount for readers.”
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However, if you are not (locked) in KDP Select, you can sell your book bundles from your own website at any amount you choose – or via other online retailers who might have different requirements.
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Imagine a reader who wants to send a book as a gift through Amazon, but at the same time wants to read your book too.  What easier than to buy the bundle and read right away on any digital device including a smartphone, while the print book is on its way to the recipient.
A great opportunity, and as a smart author-publisher you have already (at least a POD) print version of your work. See the blog post we published years ago: “11 Reasons Why You Should Offer Print Books Too“.

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Bundles and Box-Sets
Did you write a series of books?  Or several individual works that are somehow fitting together in terms of location or unifying topic?  Do the book covers show your “brand”?  Using the same font and design style, so that readers – without looking at your name – know right away, it’s one of your books?

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Benefits of Bundles and Box Sets
Bundling your books is a great way of creating a higher-priced product, a bulk-purchase – and at the same time offering your readers an attractive deal.  A win-win situation.
Another benefit for you as the author: increased visibility – readers have at least one more way to find you with every bundle you create.   For example, if you wrote four books – people have four possibilities to discover your books.  If you create two bundles of two books each, suddenly readers get six ways to discover your books – without you writing anything new.
You also have an opportunity to put your bundle into different categories than your initial books.
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And to earn more money, bundle four or five of your 99cent novellas or short stories together and reach the 70% revenue from online selling, which starts at the $2.99 threshold.

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How to Create e-Book Bundles?
Combine your books into a single volume manuscript with a single TOC (Table of Contents) that covers all books.  Important is to create a new cover for this bundle.  It should clearly state that readers get a bargain of several books.  Use a box-set style image or one that shows (parts) of the containing books / covers, e.g. include a 3-D image of each of the books in the set.  Don’t forget to write a new, convincing blurb for the bundle.  Create a unique description, rather than just repeating the descriptions of each single book.  Improve your keywords for relevance or even for a total overhaul.  Check out the article Best-Ranking Keywords in Amazon Categories.
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A bundle should offer significant savings from buying your books individually to attract readers. Invite as many book reviewers as possible.  And don’t forget to place “Editorial Reviews”.  You can even copy reviews you received previously for your individual books and use them as Editorial Reviews for your bundle.  Upload your new manuscript to Amazon (or other retailers who allow bundles), as you would do with every other e-book.
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Promote Your Bundles

Plan a book launch event, as you did with your single books and market your new addition well on all platforms including your blog / website.  Google+ and Goodreads invite authors to post their book launch event for free.
After all, it’s a brand-new product you are offering!  Set up an e-book giveaway on LibraryThing or a print book giveaway on Goodreads.  You can set up your bundle three months before the book launch for pre-order.  If you manage to promote the pre-order well: by the time the book is released it will already have high rankings as a starting point.  Which will help your book sales tremendously.
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Bundling Books from Authors in the Same Genre
Another option is to work with other authors in your genre and compile previously published books from each author into one book bundle.  A good example is A Legendary Christmas Past: 6 stories, 3 authors: Jan Scarbrough, Janet Eaves & Magdalena Scott, who sell a boxed set of Christmas stories from the 40’s, 60’s, 70’s in Legend,Tennessee, for only 99cents.
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Audiobook Bundles: Pay What You Want.
HumbleBundle  offers $215 worth of awesome audiobooks, for example “A bundle of Star Wars” audiobooks, valued at up to $215. “Name your price and increase your contribution to upgrade your bundle. Audiobook: Download these audiobooks onto your favorite device to enjoy wherever you go in MP3 format. Support charity. Choose exactly how your purchase is divided between the creators, charity, or even the Humble tip jar. Already 5,096 Bundles sold.”

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e-Book Bundles
Porter Anderson just brought this news to readers and publishers:
“BitLit and Ingram/LightningSource have struck a new agreement allowing publishers using Ingram’s CoreSource Plus programme to offer e-book bundles to readers.  Readers take photos of their books’ spines on their shelves and send them to BitLit via an app, branded as “Shelfie”.  The BitLit system then reads the spines and determines which books are available to the reader, either free or for a discounted price, as set by the publisher. In this way, readers who own print copies of favoured books can obtain digital copies of them—and publishers capture new data on readers who were formerly only print customers.”

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Have fun bundling – creating a new book without the work of writing!  As an independent author, you are free to do, whatever you want and when you want.

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If you would like to get a mentor and our support in all things publishing, have your book intensively promoted and learn how to navigate social media sites – or learn how you can make yourself a name as an author through content writing:
We offer for three months all this and more for only $179 – or less than $2 per day! Learn more about this customized Online Seminar / Consulting / Book Marketing for your success: http://www.111Publishing.com/Seminars

To learn more about professional book marketing and publishing, please read also
“Book Marketing on a Shoestring”
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00UAVL3LE

Our email newsletters with free insider tips are sent out once a month. To sign up, just go to the form on the right site of each blog post.

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Overwhelmed by Writing and Promoting?

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dark-clouds.

The best way to make more money from your author-publishing imprint is to write and publish more books.  But how can you find time to write new books while you are promoting your existing work and your backlist?  I have seen more than one writer crying and feeling overwhelmed with all of the things that writing and publishing – no matter if self-publishing or selling the manuscript to a trade publisher.

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Christ Robley wrote:
“The biggest hurdle to author-publishing isn’t cost, or distribution, or lack of an author platform. It’s FEAR. Maybe even fear of success.”  Also uncertainty, or maybe the lack of a plan…  But it’s worth the effort to overcome your fear.  If you don’t do the things that you’re afraid of, you never learn anything and you won’t grow as a writer and a human.  One of the great things about writing is that your comfort level grows as your audience does.

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Get to Know Yourself
Ask yourself these questions:

  • Are you a morning or evening person?
  • Are you often procrastinating?
  • What of your time-consuming, often useless habits can you reduce or stop?
  • How many hours per day or week can you realistically spend on your writing and publishing business?
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Have a Plan and Start New Habits
Schedule your writing time on your calendar as you would it with any other important meeting.  Once you have your strategy in place, create a checklist for routine tasks. And start habits, doing certain parts of writing and promoting.  Start a marketing plan with a timeline.
Set your alarm clock as a reminder, which helps you to structure and plan your day.  Think about it: If you are an employee you have to show up at work at a certain time – why not as a writer?  Schedule not only your writing, but also publishing tasks and book promotion.

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Shut Out Distractions
Close your office door, turn off your phone and the television.  If you can, set up one computer or laptop (without internet) for your writing and another one for emails, surfing and promoting.  Do the most important tasks first each day.  It will give a sense of accomplishment and the following hours will be a delightful time.

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One Small Step Every Day.
Do something every day to promote your books, even if you have only time for an email or phone call.  Each step you take is moving you closer to your goals.  Don’t forget: “There is no elevator to success. You have to take the stairs” ~ Stieg Larsson. You are on a long-term journey – your writing and publishing career will span over decades.  Enjoy the writing in every form, from blogs or short stories to novels, for many years to come.  Don’t stress yourself over all these completely new steps in the publishing and marketing process. Slow and steady wins the race!

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e-Book Reading on Smartphones in the Future?

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iPhone6

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The publishing world was turned upside down when the first e-books appeared 15 – 20 years ago.  The Kindle e-reader was not the first, but it is until now the most famous e-reader and helped Amazon to built their e-book imperium.  When you check out the 2015 e-book reader rating, one of the many Kindle types that are now on the market, the Voyage, is the “Gold Award Winner #1” for 2015. #2 is the NOOK GlowLight, then the Kobo Aura H20, and then another Kindle, the Paperwhite.  At least in North America these are the most popular e-readers.  In Europe it looks a bit different, at least in Germany, the Tolino is on its way to surpass the Kindle.
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Contrary to early predictions, not the e-reader – but the smartphone will be driving the future e-book sales.

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Tablets such as the iPad or the Kindle Fire are currently the most popular (41%) platform to read e-books, 11 % more than three years ago, but 3% less than last year. However it’s not e-readers that will be driving future books sales, it’s the phone. But people who read primarily on phones has risen to 14% in the first quarter of 2015 – from 9% in 2012, according to a Nielsen survey. And about 54% of e-book buyers said they used smartphones to read their books sometimes.

Meanwhile, those reading mainly on e-readers, such as Kindles and Nooks, decreased over the same period to 32% from 50%. Wattpad, the serial publishing platform, explains that phones are encouraging people to read more. 90% of their 40 million monthly users read on mobile devices. Nearly two-thirds of respondents who read on their phones said they do it, because they didn’t have their e-reader or tablet with them.

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Reasons to Read on the Phone
It might be convenience. If you’re standing in line at the grocery store or the bus stop, waiting at the doctors or dentists office or riding home on the subway, you may not have a print book or an e-reader or tablet with you.  But chances are, you are carrying a smartphone.  And I have even seen people reading on their smartphones while pushing their baby’s strollers or walking their dog in the park – where certainly audiobook would be much more appropriate and practical.  Around 65% of American adults now own a smartphone, and predictions are that in a couple of years it will be over 80%
The size and clarity of new smartphone models, are making e-book reading easier – if you have good eyes I might add.  The release of the iPhone 6 series, Apple has seen an increase in the number of people downloading books through its iBooks app.  And among all new Amazon customers using Kindles or the Kindle app, phone readers are by far the fastest-growing segment.

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Free Reading on SmartPhones at Trains and Airports
Publishers are now experimenting with ways to make themobile-reading experience better. They are designing book jackets with smartphone screens in mind. Simon &Schuster for example offers free e-books at hotels and airport lounges in New York, California, Missouri, Florida, Texas and Hawaii. Users can read as much of each book as they like forfree, while they stay within the prescribed geographical area. And Penguin Random House introduced free excerpts of e-books on Amtrak’s Acela Express trains. Online e-book retailers, such as Amazon, Google, Apple and Barnes&Noble offer smartphone apps for e-book reading.  They automatically sync all devices linked to the same account, so a reader can open an e-book on her phone and pick up exactly where she left off the night before on her e-reader or tablet.

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The literary world is divided over whether a phone can deliver the experience of deep, concentrated reading. Scholars who study the subject note that smartphones are an important part of the effort to improve literacy in developing countries where books and computers are out of reach for many people. Reading on a phone is better than not reading at all, these experts all agree.

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Drawbacks of Phone Reading
A neuroscientist who studies the reading brain: “For most people, a phone will make concentrated reading more difficult – if not impossible. It’s not as easy to share an e-book with friends as you can with print books. Many people still read in print part of the time. If deep, concentrated reading is possible despite the ringing, buzzing and alerts that come with phones – I am not sure. Phones will certainly not replace print books altogether. However, one should stop worrying about how other people are reading, and be glad that they are reading at all.

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Phone Tips for eBook Readers
The blogger at EbookFriendly advises: “The underestimated power of smartphones is that they are great testing devices. If you want to try ebooks, it doesn’t mean you have to immediately buy a Kindle. Just get a free Kindle application for you mobile phone and you’ll learn – in no time – about all advantages of ebook reading.  Standard features of book reading applications are:

  • customization of font size and typeface
  • themes or backgrounds to choose from (at least day and night mode)
  • text highlighting, note taking, bookmarks
  • dictionary and reference
  • instant access to ebooks stored in your cloud library
  • syncing bookmarks and latest read locations
  • ability to add your own books
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Book reading apps usually let you discover new books within the app. The exception is iOS, where this quite obvious feature is offered only by the Apple’s e-reading app iBooks. Find more tips on his blog. Smartphones are multi-purpose devices.  Reading ebooks will never be their primary purpose.  But they are extremely helpful in extending book reading to “not planned” places and circumstances.”  Read the article here.
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What About Audiobooks?
The question is whether the phone is appropriate for long-form reading, if other options are available. Audiobooks are certainly an even better way of “reading” as you can listen to your favored book – hands-free – even if you are exercising in the gym or do intense gardening.  I personally love listening to audiobooks, especially on long road trips, when discerning radio stations are not available and I have listened too many times to the same CD’s.  In many cases, audiobooks have also proven successful in helping students to access literature and enjoy books.
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More on this topic:
The best phone screens are listed in a Cnet.com article
http://www.cnet.com/news/smartphones-with-killer-screens-roundup/

Why digital reading before sleeping is not a good idea
https://www.yahoo.com/health/using-ipads-smartphones-tablet-before-bed-is-105966317362.html

How to conserve your smartphone battery
http://www.hongkiat.com/blog/conserve-smartphone-battery-life/

 

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Creating an Audiobook on a Shoestring

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by Patrick Jones, Author of The Wolf’s Moon

Audio-Book

http://www.audible.com/pd/Mysteries-Thrillers/The-Wolfs-Moon-Audiobook/B013TNC3H2
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The Wolf’s Moon has been on the market for the past three years and is still holding its own.  I sent copies to my brothers only to find out unless there are pictures with the words, well… you can imagine the rest.  Then, I met a fourth-grade teacher who told me she no longer had time to read novels anymore. Rachel said she did miss that part of her life, but her kids came first – as well they should.

My plight was how to reach people who just did not read for whatever the reason. After spending some hours talking with my wife, she suggested that we again look into an audio book.
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Creating an audiobook takes a rather long-term commitment to follow-through with the project.  It requires due diligence in learning everything you can about the world of audiobook publishing and it has the same learning curve as print or eBook author publishing.  Anyone who dives headfirst into this career choice is committed to a lifetime of learning about the publishing industry.
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In the following article, I will touch on important points to consider during your path how to create your audiobook masterpiece.
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Is your book ready for audio?
Remember, the book itself must be well on its way to popularity by the use of various marketing techniques. Branding is a critical technique so that your followers recognize all of your works.
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Are you ready for audio?
This project takes time and a lot of critical thinking about bringing the book to life. For example, one must choose the narrator who is capable of transforming the written words from reading to listening pleasure, an entirely different platform altogether.
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You now have a new audience to court in addition to everything else!
Do readers necessarily like to listen to audiobooks? Some yes, some no. Audiobook lovers have their very own niche! It is critical to read everything you can get your hands on in order to understand the audio niche.
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How do you choose the right narrator?
This is critical in the creation of the story you wish to tell.  Storytelling is the most important function you will provide to the reader.  Please refer to my post about Storytelling by Sarah-Jane Murray (used by permission).
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Thus, the narrator that you choose must be exactly what you are looking for. You are prompted to describe what you are looking for insofar as the accent, a regional accent, language, man, woman and so on. It is actually a fun process to begin to hear your book come to life. ACX Audible has a wealth of narrators from which you can interview. They direct you how to upload a sample reading for the narrator. At that point, you can accept or reject that audition and move on to the next narrator. Please note…this is NOT an easy task and takes quite some time to choose the right fit for your book. Luckily, we auditioned two excellent narrators that ACX selected from our specifications.

We chose Mark Westfield with Westfield Audio Arts.  He is an independent contractor that owns his own business. To read about Mark Westfield, please refer to this SNEAK PEAK blog post.

If you would like to contact Mark Westfield to produce your audiobook you can contact him at Mark@WestfieldAudioArts.com

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The Wolf’s Moon by Patrick Jones is exclusive on Amazon, thus available on KDP.  We have 114 reviews with a rating of 4.3 at Amazon.  We published in 2012 and it is now 2015… so we weren’t ready to consider audiobooks for 3 years.
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However, in which stage of book publishing you are in, you must consider the possibility early on so as to capitalize on every piece of information you can gather.  We began the audiobook publishing process at the beginning of 2015.  We had previously entertained looking at other audiobook production vendors, thus having a rudimentary idea of what we were looking at.
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We ultimately chose ACX Audible as the vendor of choice.  Why, you ask?

  • Vendor recognition and popularity in the industry
  • An Amazon subsidiary
  • Education and literature accessibility
  • Prompt response
  • Phone support
  • A wealth of narrators to choose from
  • And last, but not least, the cost.  Audiobooks can be a very expensive proposition.  At ACX Audible, we created an audiobook for no initial outlay of funds.  However, we do share the rights for 7 years with Amazon on a 60/40 proposition…the 60% royalty goes to Amazon; the 40% royalty is split between the author and the narrator.  There is also a $50 “bounty” program for attracting new audiobook listeners to Audible (also split between the author and the narrator).  Make sure to study your contract before you sign on the dotted line. There are also other packages at ACX Audible to produce your audiobook, all differing in cost to the author. The Wolf’s Moon chose to share the royalties for 7 years. Please refer to the article on the ACX blog for further information:
    http://blog.acx.com/2015/07/14/you-kept-your-audiobook-rights-now-what/
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    Now, you may ask yourself: “Why in the world would someone want to give up 80% of their royalties in order to produce an audiobook?”
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  • The audiobook royalties are just that – only applying to the audiobook itself, not your original book royalties.  The production cost of an audiobook can run into the thousands of dollars on other platforms.
  • The audiobook is available on 3 platforms, ACX Audible, Amazon, iTunes for better market penetration. In other words, this ALSO markets your book
  • SEO (Search Engine Optimization) – Now your “buzz” is logarithmic
  • Support narrators worldwide…they are very special because they have the talent to “become” the book and bring it to life…plus, they have to work directly with you which is not always easy!
  • Amazon is still the largest book dealer and owns virtually everything with Jeff Bezos as the CEO
  • Exclusivity with ACX Audible as well as Amazon
  • More books, more audiobooks, more “buzz” for SEO (Search Engine Optimization)
  • A wonderful gift to leave to other generations when you are gone
  • Bringing your book to life is the most indescribable feeling when you hear it
  • PLUS…when you produce the audiobook, the narrator also finds errors in your book because they have to read it thoroughly and create the atmosphere, thus another edit per se, although then you have to go back and re-Kindle the book for the errors
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A new adventure begins…

For more information about audio-book production, links and addresses, please see the following blog post: http://savvybookwriters.wordpress.com/2013/09/30/how-else-can-you-leverage-your-manuscript/

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Thank you for taking the time to digest all of the information above!
The Linden Chronicles is the home of The Wolf’s Moon by Patrick Jones. We have reached this point in our adventure and will periodically update you on the progress as we make it.  We also thought we would never get to this point, but the release is this week in August 2015!  How exciting is that?

If you would like to purchase this brand new audiobook at
http://www.audible.com/pd/Mysteries-Thrillers/The-Wolfs-Moon-Audiobook/B013TNC3H2
and if you wish to write a review, I would be most humbled.

For assistance with writing audiobook reviews:
http://blog.acx.com/2014/12/17/the-elements-of-a-well-reviewed-audiobook/

 

Authors: never, ever give up!
Pat Jones

Copyright © 2015 Patrick Jones

 



Prestigious Great Britain-Ireland Writing Contests

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Writing-Contest

Two writing contests call for entries, due in September – one for short stories, one for novels – attract British, or in the UK published writers.  One is for previously unpublished novels, the other for short stories of well-published authors, prizes range from £5,000 to £30,000 – the highest prize award every paid for a short story.

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MSLEXIA Women’s Novel Competition
MSLexia magazine is on the lookout for novels of at least 50,000 words written for adults (and young adults) in any genre by previously unpublished female novelists.  The first prize is £5,000.  Entry fee is £25.
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Judges, Winners, and Finalists
Judges will be: Marina Lewycka (novelist), Juliet Mushens (literary agent), Di Speirs (Books Editor, BBC Radio & Music Production).  The winner and four other finalists will receive manuscript feedback from The Literary Consultancy and an invitation to a special networking event with literary agents.

Placing in the competition can help you along the road to publishing success.  The 2011 winning novel The Palace of Curiosities by Rosie Garland was published by HarperCollins, and Lu Hersey’s Deep Water – the winning entry in our 2012 Children’s Novel Competition – secured a publishing deal last year.

To enter, please submit the first 5,000 words of your completed novel.
Deadline is September 21, 2015.

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2016 SUNDAY TIMES Short Story Award
Writers from around the world – who have been published previously in the UK or Ireland by a trade publisher – are invited to enter the 2016 Sunday Times Short Story Award.  No entry fee!
The prize is for stories up to 6,000 words in length.  The winner will receive £30,000 (ca. US$46,500), making this the most valuable prize for a single short story in the world.  Five runners-up prizes will £1,000 each.
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From the entries submitted, the judges will draw up a longlist of up to twenty (20) short stories.  The judges will then reduce this to a shortlist of six (6) outstanding entries, from which they will select the winning entry and five runners-up.
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Sorry – No Self-Published Authors
Stories can be either unpublished or published – but not earlier than 2015.  Writers can enter regardless of their nationality or residency,  but they must have an existing record of publication (print books or an established printed magazine) in creative writing in the UK and Ireland.  The Award is open to authors writing in the English language, aged 18 years or over at the time of submission.
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Carefully read the lengthy submission guidelines
Be aware that you practically give away your short story, albeit for a fantastic prize, as the conditions move all publishing rights indefinitely to the Sunday Times and its subsidiaries – worldwide.
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Moreover, by submitting an Entry, Entrants agree to make themselves available for public relations activities wherever possible, including participating in events in the run up to the Award in London and elsewhere.  In the event of being shortlisted for the Award, Entrants agree to attend the Award Ceremony (if one is held), and in the event of winning the Award undertake a mutually acceptable limited programme of activities to promote the Award – particularly immediately after the Award is made.

Deadline for entries is September 24, 2015.
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Also for British Authors:
Great advice about literary income and taxes by Natalie Butlin on MSLexia: Get paid before you are published. https://mslexia.co.uk/get-paid-youre-published/

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If you would like to get a mentor and our support in all things publishing, have your book intensively promoted and learn how to navigate social media sites – or learn how you can make yourself a name as an author through content writing: We offer for three months all this and more for only $179 – or less than $2 per day!  Learn more about this customized Online Seminar / Consulting / Book Marketing for your success: http://www.111Publishing.com/Seminars

To learn more about professional book marketing and publishing, please read also
“Book Marketing on a Shoestring”
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00UAVL3LE

 

Our email newsletters with free insider tips are sent out once a month. To sign up, just go to the form on the right site of each blog post.
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CreateSpace, Quality, LightningSource and Print Quality

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Print-Quality

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Print book guru Aaron Shepard wrote in a recent article The Limits to Quality:
“Lately, I’ve seen a lot of author-publishers ask questions like, “Which POD company should I go with to give me the highest quality—CreateSpace or Lightning Source ?”

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His answer to these questions: “That’s the wrong question. In most cases, it makes no sense to choose your POD company on the basis of quality. You don’t choose POD for its quality, you choose it for its distribution. You choose your company on the basis of which one helps you sell the most books.”

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Why not quality?
“First of all, comparisons are always shifting one way or the other, so any decision you make now could be wrong by next week. But more important, neither company has quality to get excited about. POD quality is never, has never been, and probably never will be more than good enough.”
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Shepard who works with both companies since many years, explains that self-publishers should never choose POD (Print-on-Demand) printing if print quality is their primary concern. Both companies, CreateSpace and LightningSource are more or less digital copy shops, not high-quality printers – and do not employ experienced “real” printers.

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His advice: “So, almost any new publisher should start with CreateSpace. See how many books you sell. Then, if selling an additional 10% to 25% would be worth the effort—because that’s likely all you can expect—add Lightning Source—or rather, Ingram-Spark, its gateway for self-publishers.”

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But read Aaron Shepard’s whole article, where he also explains the hair-raising experiences he had with both companies. Another important of his many articles is regarding ISBN’s at CreateSpace and LightningSource can be found here and here to get more background info about POD and book distribution.
And don’t forget to sign up for his newsletter, where he gives lots of valuable insider tips about the technical and distribution aspects for author-publishers.

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If you would like to get a mentor and our support in all things publishing, have your book intensively promoted and learn how to navigate social media sites – or learn how you can make yourself a name as an author through content writing: We offer for three months all this and more for only $179 – or less than $2 per day!  Learn more about this customized Online Seminar / Consulting / Book Marketing for your success: http://www.111Publishing.com/Seminars

To learn more about professional book marketing and publishing, please read also
“Book Marketing on a Shoestring”
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00UAVL3LE

Our email newsletters with free insider tips are sent out once a month. To sign up, just go to the form on the right site of each blog post.
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Matchmaker for Early Book Reviews

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LibraryThing.

LibraryThing is full of great conversations about books with groups talking about every little sub-genre, every aspect of books and reading, and lots of other stuff too. It’s a site for READERS.

LibraryThing is a website that allows people to catalog their personal libraries, discover new books and connect with others who share their tastes.  It is an open, collaborative project.  The best reason to join for AUTHORS is to have an e-Book or print book giveaway with high possibilities for REVIEWS.  The great benefit of LibraryThing is that you can even have your e-books as giveaways – and that you can use the reviews you might get for promotional purposes. 

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A section of the site is called Member Giveaways – which are an informal way for members to give away copies of books to other members. Authors can use this to give away copies of their books in the hopes of getting a review. You upload the cover of your book, add the blurb, as well as a line saying something like “reviews are not compulsory, but would be greatly appreciated”.

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While at Goodreads (an Amazon company) you have to buy – in advance – one- hundred eBooks to offer them all for giveaway prices, at LibraryThing you can choose the amount. It might be as small as only one eBook. And you send it out to the lucky winner at the end of the contest.

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LibraryThing Advises:
“You must indicate how many books you are giving away, and what the time limit is for members to sign up (one week is the minimum).  Once the allotted period is up, you will be emailed a list of the “winners”, and it’s then up to you to send out the copy of the book.”

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As a new member, explore the site first and build up your library before you consider doing a giveaway – you will receive a much better response.

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Questions and Answers About Book Giveaways
What is “LibraryThing Early Reviewers”?
“LibraryThing Early Reviewers helps publishers distribute advance copies of books to interested readers. The publisher provides books, LibraryThing members sign-up to request them, and then we match up books with members based on the rest of their LibraryThing catalog. Books find their way to readers who are likely to enjoy them! LibraryThing members get books, publishers get reviews—LibraryThing plays matchmaker.”

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How does it work?
“You supply LibraryThing with a list of the titles that you’ll be offering to the Early Reviewers. We announce the titles (in monthly batches), and LibraryThing members sign up for whichever books they’re interested in. We use an algorithm to find the members most likely to enjoy and create buzz for your titles. We send a list of the winning members and their addresses to you. You send out the books. Early Reviewers read the books, and then post reviews to LibraryThing. They are encouraged to also cross-post to their blog, etc.”

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What does the publisher (You) get out of it?
“You get a community of readers, creating early buzz about your book and giving you insight into how it will be received. The publisher and author are granted perpetual non-exclusive permission to use the reviews.”

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What formats of books can I offer through Early Reviewers?
“We are happy to list paper copies, ebooks, and audiobooks. If you are offering an ebook, you must specify the file type (epub, Mobi, PDF, etc.) in the description.”

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How many books do I have to provide?
“We ask for at least fifteen copies of each title, and welcome more than that! We encourage both diversity and quantity.”

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How far in advance of the release date should I offer my titles?
“That’s up to you—whenever you want the buzz to start. Early Reviewers is completely free. We reserve the right to charge for this service in the future.”

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Who ships the books or emails a PDF version?
“The publisher is responsible for shipping. LibraryThing provides a list of names and addresses.”

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How do you pick which LibraryThing members do receive a book?

“We use an algorithm to calculate winners, which is based on a number of factors, for example the contents and organization of the reviewer’s LibraryThing account. How many books the reviewer has received from LTER in the past, and whether they’ve reviewed them. Factors that suggest someone likely to review a book, and talk about it widely, on LibraryThing and elsewhere.”

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Do the books I provide need to be pre-publication?
“In general, we prefer books that have not yet been published. Publishers who don’t produce advance reader copies, or publishers with less “release-driven” titles should email loranne@librarything.com to discuss when to offer books.”

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Can authors offer review copies to LibraryThing members outside of North America?
“Absolutely. Most publishers that we’re currently working with offer books to residents of the United States and Canada—we’d love to open it up to members around the world and are eager to work with publishers to make this happen.”

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I’m an author, can I offer up my books for Early Reviewers?
“We only accept Early Reviewer books directly from trade publishers. If your publisher isn’t participating in Early Reviewers, then you can offer your books up for review yourself! Use our Member Giveaway Program.”

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What about self-published authors and vanity presses?
“Self-published books and books from vanity presses are encouraged to use our Member Giveaway Program, which is similar to but separate from Early Reviewers.”

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What Else Can You Find on LibraryThing?

  • List of current titles on offer.
  • Frequently asked questions about Early Reviewers.
  • Read LibraryThing blog posts tagged “Early Reviewers”.
  • Check out the Early Reviewer discussion group.
  • Find out about other ways publishers can use LibraryThing.

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Join Almost 2 Million Readers on LibraryThing and Start Your e-Book Giveaways

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7 Tips to Promote Your YouTube Channel

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Video

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300 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every minute, which means you have quite some competition. Here are seven steps you can take for a better chance to be seen – and heard – and to increase your subscriber numbers.

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Make the Most out of Your Video Descriptions
Put a link to your website and your social accounts in your description – best is an “About.me” link where you can list the links to all your web appearances – and ask people to click! Important: place the most important text / links into the first three lines! For the rest to read viewers have to click on “read more”. You want to have your message seen at the first glimpse.
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Design a Stunning Thumbnail
You never get a second chance for a first good impression. Your thumbnail is the first thing people see when they open their YouTube page. Create an enticing photo you can be proud of and that give a glimpse what your video is about. Upload a custom thumbnail when you upload your video. Google suggests:
Image formats: .JPG, .GIF, .BMP, .PNG.
Minimum width of 640 pixels resolution of 1280X720
2MB limit, a 16 width: 9height aspect ratio
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Keywords for Better SEO
There are many tools on the web to help with basic keyword research, for example the Google Keyword Planner tool and “Best SEO Tools“. Google’s Keyword Planner is for building new Search Network campaigns or expanding existing ones. You can search for keyword and ad group ideas, see how a list of keywords might perform, and even create a new keyword list by adding several lists of keywords together. Use those keywords in specific places throughout your video page.
Don’t stick only to titles and meta descriptions that match the exact keywords, use more engaging ones. Google’s algorithms have the ability to recognize different words or search terms with the same meaning. You can also work with SimilarSiteSearch, a mixture of keyword based searches and directory listings. Research your competition, always check out other videos too. After all: YouTube is the worlds second-largest search engine.
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Use Annotations
These are little pieces of text that will appear over your video, and on which a viewer can click on at any time. Annotations increase the number of clicks tremendously! With annotations you can layer text, links, and hotspots over your video. They help you enrich the video experience by adding information, interactivity and engagement, such as subscribe to the channel, watch more videos, like or share a video and leave a comment. Decide the length you want this overlap to start, and when you want it to appear.  There are five different types of annotations to choose from:

  • Speech bubble: for creating pop-up speech bubbles with text.
  • Note: for creating pop-up boxes containing text.
  • Title: for creating a text overlay to title your video.
  • Label: for creating a label to call out and name a specific part of your video.
  • Spotlight: for highlighting areas in a video; when the user moves the mouse over these areas the text you enter will appear.

Once you’ve chosen which type of annotation you want to insert, use the settings underneath the “Add annotation” button to change the font size, font color, or background color.
Position the annotation on the video by dragging and dropping it within the video player.

Click the “Link” box underneath the “Start” and “End” settings.  You can choose whether you want the annotation to link to another video, your channel, a playlist, a fundraising site or direct the users to subscribe to your channel. Learn more about setting up annotations – creation, customization, and editing – in this video.
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Turn on the “Embed” Feature
The “embed” feature allows others to take your video and then publish it on their website, blog, social media sites, channel, etc., which will help you gain even more exposure.  Specify that you must get credit each time your video is re-published.  You can switch to the embed feature by visiting the Video Manager, clicking “Edit” under the video you want to edit, then test at “Advanced Settings” that the embed option is checked.
It’s easy to embed your video for viewers: copy and paste the link that will show up when viewer clicks “share”.  A click to “embed” brings up the HTML code, that can be copied and pasted into a website or blog, and will show the videos image on the web presence.
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Embed a Watermark
It allows viewers to directly subscribe to your channel if they hover over the watermark. This works by uploading your logo or another image across all the YouTube videos in your channel. You can find this watermark feature by clicking on “My Channel” and navigating to “Branding” . You can click this link if you’re already signed into YouTube. As you can see, you have full control over how long and when your video (or watermark if you clicked Branding) will be displayed. You can create a custom message to go with your video. Simply update and you’re set to go. I almost forgot to mention: Taking ads off ensures that people who visit your channel page are seeing just you and only you, and not a whole bunch of unrelated images that might confuse them.

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Promote Your Videos in Your Web Presence
From your email newsletter, to your blog, to your email signature, and certainly all your social media accounts: post the link to your YouTube videos. You will have great chance that people are visiting your channel for one video and then clicking around to all of your related videos. Important is that you have more to show than only one single video! To have one video only is a bit pathetic, it’ the same as having only one book for readers to offer…

Excerpt from our upcoming book: 111 Tips to Market Your Book for Free

 

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If you would like to get a mentor and our support in all things publishing, have your book intensively promoted and learn how to navigate social media sites – or learn how you can make yourself a name as an author through content writing: We offer for three months all this and more for only $179 – or less than $2 per day!  Learn more about this customized Online Seminar / Consulting / Book Marketing for your success: http://www.111Publishing.com/Seminars

To learn more about professional book marketing and publishing, please read also
“Book Marketing on a Shoestring”
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00UAVL3LE

Our email newsletters with free insider tips are sent out once a month.
To sign up, just go to the form on the right site of each blog post.



Successful Book Giveaways – Print and eBooks

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Reading

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Book giveaways
are a powerful way to get a lot of exposure – and your book in the hands of new readers, who might even write reviews.  The success of your book giveaway depends very much on how you promote this event – and also how you leverage the networking possibilities you gain with new followers and contacts.
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Print Book Giveaways on Goodreads
Goodreads now allows not only paperbacks but also e-books as Giveaways.  They offer all members: “Be the first to read new books!  Pre-release books are listed for giveaway by publishers and authors, and members can enter to win.  Winners are picked randomly at the end of the giveaway.”
As Goodreads belongs to Amazon, they are setting the rules and also send out the ebooks to the chosen readers.  The cost of listing a Kindle book giveaway is $119, which allows you to offer up to 100 Kindle ebooks.  Goodreads print book Giveaway campaigns are still free.
The idea is that many of the people who win a free book will write a review of it on Goodreads (some people are so enthusiastic that they write reviews on Goodreads, Amazon, Shelfari etc). Reviews help book sales, so publishers and authors are keen to do giveaways.  However, if your book is in digital format only: there are ways to print a handful of books, once you have an ISBN.
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There are some competitors to Goodreads, who offer e-Book Giveaways for members, such as BookLikes and LibraryThing, and now even Amazon.com

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Offer e-Book Giveaways
In terms of features and functionality, both, BookLikes and LibraryThing are similar to Goodreads. Of course, they don’t have the user traffic that Goodreads or Amazon have, so you should not expect similar results if you have done a book giveaway on Goodreads in the past.  To list your book giveaway on BookLikes or LibraryThing, sign up for a free account and click on the giveaways link when you are logged in.  On the next page, there should be a tab at the top of the page in the main navigation that says “Create Your Giveaway.”  You will be asked for the same info as the other sites in the form on the following page.  Their rules seem to have been almost copied directly from Goodreads, as they appear to be identical.  For more questions go to their FAQ’s.
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Best of all, on LibraryThing you can choose to pick the winners of the giveaway yourself!  It is certainly less expensive than to donate print books and you can offer easily a dozen or more copies.  You can either send the winners a PDF or you can gift the e-book via Amazon and boost your sales ranking at the same time!
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Print and e-Book Giveaways Through Book Bloggers
Consider offering copies of your book to other bloggers you follow, or you have found through a Google search and have them host a giveaway. Book bloggers often really appreciate being able to do giveaways, and this can extend your reach outside of your previous networking!
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Don’t Forget: a Giveaway on Your Website
Your blog or website are great places too for giveaways, especially if you have thousands of followers / readers there or an extensive newsletter email list. Use the same announcements and promotions as you would do for a Goodreads, LibraryThing or BookLikes giveaway.  And you certainly can choose the winners yourself!
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9 Giveaway Tips for Authors:

  1. Enter your first giveaway 4-6 weeks before your book’s launch (as soon as you have the ISBN in case of a print book) and then periodically every other month.  Schedule your giveaway at least two weeks in advance.
  2. Write a compelling giveaway description with snippets of reviews and mentioning any awards the book won.
  3. Offer always autographed books for print versions.
  4. Follow everyone who applied for the giveaway.  On Goodreads you can follow 25 people/day.  These are the people who are interested in your book. Send a thank-you note to everyone who entered, and offer two or three chapters of your book to the not-so-lucky ones, and invite them to join your email newsletter.
  5. Use the free event-feature at Goodreads and Google+ and invite everyone there to participate in the Giveaway.
  6. Announce the giveaway at least once a day on your Google+ timeline, on Twitter, FB, LinkedIn, Pinterest and share it with: the public, your circles and extended circles – and additionally use the function “Also send email to Your circles” next to the sharing button (for your first post and then towards the end of the giveaway period to remind them).
  7. Post your giveaway article on your website or blog and regularly to all the Social Media sites, don’t forget Pinterest, Instagram or Flickr (use not only your cover photo, but anything that fits to the theme of your book), and maybe create even a short video about this giveaway.
  8. Make arrangements for interviews in local newspapers, mentioning your giveaway (plan well in advance, 2 – 3 months at least).
  9. Announce your Book Blog Giveaways in these listings / blogs too:

http://bookblogs.ning.com/group/bookbloggiveaways

http://cuddlebuggery.com/previous-lbba-giveaways/

http://www.iamareader.com/giveaway-hops

http://bloggiveawaydirectory.com/tag/books/

https://www.facebook.com/freebookgiveaways

http://www.bibliophilicbookblog.com/2014/06/giveaway-book-of-life-by-deborah.html

http://mostlyyabookobsessed.com/2012/09/blog-makeover-and-giveaway.html

http://www.yabookscentral.com/info/10186-ya-and-kids-books-giveaways (YA and Kids)
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IMPORTANT:  Don’t start or end your giveaway on a holiday or the days before. People are busy with other things around this time or they travel.  And don’t limit your giveaways to your own country, offer it worldwide.  It means more exposure and if your giveaway is only one to three copies it’s affordable, especially if you let it send as a gift through Amazon – this way it helps your ranking too. But always include / send a friendly note, even when you gift it via the online retailer.  Don’t delay the delivery to the winner.
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For Readers and Reviewers On LibraryThing:
“The August 2015 batch of Early Reviewer books is up! We’ve got 87 titles this month, and a grand total of 2,716 copies to give out, including a collection of previously unpublished stories and essays by The Haunting of Hill House author Shirley Jackson. Which books are you hoping to get this month? If you haven’t already, sign up for August 2015 Early Reviewers.” http://blog.librarything.com/main/  Lots of books to win and review!

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If you would like to get a mentor and our support in all things publishing, have your book intensively promoted and learn how to navigate social media sites – or learn how you can make yourself a name as an author through content writing: We offer for three months all this and more for only $179 – or less than $2 per day!  Learn more about this customized Online Seminar / Consulting / Book Marketing for your success: http://www.111Publishing.com/Seminars

To learn more about professional book marketing and publishing, please read also
“Book Marketing on a Shoestring”
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00UAVL3LE

Our email newsletters with free insider tips are sent out once a month. To sign up, just go to the form on the right site of each blog post.
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