Growing Pains…I Have an Email List, What Next?

I have been so focused on the goal of getting an actual email list of readers, I have neglected to figure out what to do with this list. There are so many questions I have:

What do I do with this list?

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When do I contact them?

How do I thank them for signing up?

When do I do all of these things?

How do I do ANY of these things?

mailchimp monkeyI have so much to read on e-mail lists. I guess I never thought I would ACTUALLY get anyone to sign up. Maybe I was so focused on getting readers, I wasn’t thinking of the next step.

In any case, I need to step up my game. I have to figure out how to NOT bother these people AND not ignore them. They are signed up because they are interested in my work. That is a compliment. I guess I can officially take my own name off of my list. I probably won’t. I still need to see if I’m sending crazy information or sending something more than once.

I send my other account the test preview but I still need to check four times before I know. I still don’t know if my thank you template goes to my readers right away. I want to fix something in my thank you template but I am not sure if the original thirty will get it again on top of the new subscribers.

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I can’t afford to lose the thirty I have right now. That number may not seem like a lot to some of you, to a newbie that just went from four to thirty in a matter of three days…it’s a lot.

I am in promotions and giveaways. That is how I received the jump in readers. The advertisements on AMS and Facebook hasn’t worked for me. When I first wrote “Wendy’s Song” I had an advertisement on one of the free weekend five dollar deals online. It gave me a jump on Amazon. I had almost a thousand readers download the book.

I thought that was great because my book was top five in my genre for a quick minute. My big mistake with that is I didn’t have any information or giveaway in the back of the book to entice readers to review the book or sign up for my list.

I learned my lesson. That is why it is better to research and read before you act. I have said this before, a professor used to tell me “If you fail to prepare, you are preparing to fail.”

The funny thing is, I remember the infamous line AFTER THE FACT.

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This is why I need to read up on email etiquette. I cannot let the readers down. I am in the process of completing my fourth book in my series. I want to notify the readers of this but I can’t just say “Hey, how are you. I am selling this book.”

That sounds kind of crappy. I know of an author that did that to me and I unsubscribed from her right away. Honestly, I gave her three chances to NOT sell to me, but that was all she did.

I understand it is a business but I saw she was collaborating with other authors and she was the only one that sounded shady with her email. I am signed up with her associates as well. They offered advice on various things. She offered to sell me things. While her associates offered their friends links, she did not. I felt that was a little shady.

Something to remember, don’t forget your friends/ fellow authors. I would think if you felt comfortable enough to work with someone, it could only help your business to send some work their way, no? I know it didn’t help to ignore them.

What I did on my thank you list is I offered the promotions links from both websites and said there are some great authors here (I’m not lying, there were one or two books on there that were really interesting). I also said I will offer a test reading if they’re interested. It’s not required. I mentioned more free promotions will be available on occasion and thanks again. Drop me a line on what your favorite type of reads are and hit me up on twitter and facebook.

I am hoping that one is the one that went through. If not then I have the generic thank you that I didn’t really mention my details and just the free ebook promotions. Not good for me but free ebooks from Bookfunnel and Prolific Works are available.

I am not sure if either email sounds good. I am going to have to research. I should not have done anything until I knew for a fact what was right. After I find out exactly what is the right thing to do, I need to make sure I don’t email anyone more than once with a thank you email.

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Then I have to find out when the best time is the next time I can contact my readers. Would it be when I see more free stuff for them? I don’t want to bother them, I have three hundred unopened emails on my one account because I can’t deal. I don’t want to be one of those people.

Well, if anyone here wants some free ebooks, one is any genre and one is biography/ memoirs type of books. Below are the links:

dear diary on bookfunnel

group giveaway on prolific works

Thanks for reading and good luck with your email lists.

Stay fabulous,

Robyn Branick

aka

Robbie Ellie

Growing Pains…Finding Out the Hard Way

I have spent some big bucks doing things the wrong way. I assume many authors in their newbie days have done the same. That’s not my point. My point is, I found a way that is not that hard and much cheaper. Okay, I will explain what the heck I’m talking about.

E-mail lists and how to get them.

I tripled my e-mail list today. Granted there were four of us on it (yes, one dropped me like a hot potato, and yes I am still on the list). The struggle is real! If anyone tells you differently, they are either lying or not authors.

Well, I prepared the reader’s magnet. I had the book funnel. I updated the covers on my e-books to make them fancy and professional. I got excited about it, I even did my third book which has nothing to do with the promotions (but I’m sure someone might want to read it one day).saving lisa ebook cover design (1)

Granted, I don’t have the means to hire anyone, but I know how to work a computer and canva.com is a free service. I fake it ’til I make it. 

I also set up my last page to link up to my email. It looks professional, in my mind it does. I did some testing and it works. Bookfunnel is set up and so is Prolific Works (previously Instafreebie).mailchimp monkey

Originally I had an ad on Facebook thinking this will get me some leads on a growing email list. Before I purchased advertising, I researched (I love to study up on as much information as possible, even if I think I know what I’m doing). Well, Facebook started me out with two or three e-mails and I spent seventeen dollars. I was not happy with my investment.

In the past, I spent money on AMS (Amazon) ads and they did get me tons of clicks but not much else. I spent more money on that than on Facebook.

In case you’re wondering, a click means the reader clicks the link to see what the book is about but they don’t purchase the book. Usually this means there is something with the book.

The click is what you spend the money on, not the reader just looking at the ad. If you would like to know more about AMS advertising, click here:

https://dragonrealmpress.com/editing/ams-ads-101/

Considering my first book in my series is permafree, I am looking to get the word out to the public AND grow my email list more than waste any more money. I understand I will be spending but I don’t want to be wasting. Who does?

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I received an e-mail from Bookfunnel (or Prolific, sorry I can’t remember) about promotions or giveaways. I read about authors collaborating. I have never understood the concept…until now.

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Both websites have promotions on them. Your free book can become part of a giveaway with other authors. The giveaway I’m in with Prolific has no genre and they request the whole book (no chapter or partial read). You also need to promote on your email list and social media. I am fine with that. I will be sharing the links of the promotions at the bottom of this post.

The best part of this is, IT IS FREE! My Bookfunnel promotion began today and so far I tripled my email list. As a matter of fact, I am recieving notifications that subscribers are signing up AS I AM DRAFTING THIS POST! Exciting stuff, huh?

I could have saved myself some money weeks ago if I understood this collaboration thing when I read about it. Well, here are BookFunnel and Prolific Works pages if you’re interested in learning more about adding your ebooks on their sites and working with other authors.

Bookfunnel

Prolific Works

The life of a newbie is up and down but the ups feel pretty good.

Another thing I have learned is I need to NOT compare myself to other authors. I am part of a few author’s groups and there is some that discuss their lists. They ‘only’ have a hundred on their list. I don’t comment but I cringe when I read it. I would love to say I only have a hundred email addresses.

Some authors discuss their twenty reviews for one book and say they can’t advertise on Bookbub. I don’t have fifteen reviews for my ten books. Then I read on. Some of the authors have been in this business for years. I can’t imagine the frustration they are feeling. I am just beginning.

I read the criteria for Bookbub and I was in shock! I don’t want to get into what there is to do. I have a long way to go. I am taking this journey one step at a time. Today is a good day. I am getting my list closer to my hundred emails. I will be finishing up my fourth book in my series soon, I can ask my Forbidden list if they would like to test read. First I should ask if any would like to be on my Forbidden list.

I have lots to do, it looks like. The life of a newbie writer is never quiet. Let the chaos continue!

Whether I have four or one hundred fans on my email list, I am living my dream. I am lucky to have this opportunity, fifty reviews or five. Bookbub will have to wait, for now. I may not ever need to advertise on them (probably a lie, but that’s what I’m telling myself for now).

Below are the links for the giveaways/ promotions. The e-books come in various forms for all to enjoy. If you have a chance, I’m sure an aspiring author would love a chance for you to read and enjoy their story:

Dear Diary on Book Funnel Now until October 29

Prolific Works October 13-November 30th

Good luck to anyone trying to get on to Bookbub, if you have, congratulations, you have my respect!

Stay fabulous

Robyn Branick

aka

Robbie Ellie

 

Growing Pains…Establishing an E-Mail List

Woohoo! I have my first bonafide email sign up! It is not a relative, nor is it my account. I ACTUALLY have a real person that I don’t know. Well, time will tell if this is a real person.

I have been fixing a few flaws to my reader’s magnet and upgrading my techniques on collecting email addresses. First I added ‘Bookfunnel’ and integrated it with MailChimp. Then I added Instafreebie. I created a Facebook ad for my free book (with the sign up) and cried when I saw the amount of money I spent this weekend.

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mailchimp monkey

I used a few shortcuts in the past and so far it’s not working out that great. I am almost four months in and have little to show for it (9 books, enough money to go food shopping). I decided to try this out and I will see where it leads me.

If I do this for two weeks and I still only have that one email, then so be it. I will contact that person and welcome her/ him to my launch team. Free reads for everyone! Considering it is only one, I can handle it.

I have some time to try the products out and then say…oh well. They’re not for me. I know I’m not spending a ton of money on Facebook ads right now. I chose to use Facebook because while using the AMS worked okay in the beginning, I was not using it to its fullest potential and I need to expand to a WIDER audience to grow my email list.

THREE DAYS LATER…

I have tripled my email list. Woohoo!

I have also jumped up my sales with my third book. I was almost 6 million in the sales rank of Amazon. Now I jumped 5.6 million in the ranks for that one book (which means I’m #200k or something in there). I am assuming it has something to do with giving away the free ebooks. I give my first book in the series away, the rest of the books are affected.

The one day I go from almost six million to about two hundred thousand is insanity. If I read about this in an advertisement for a person trying to get me to purchase their ‘how to’ system, I would think they are liars and delete their emails.

Now that I have these three people on my email list. What is next, exactly? Do I send a thank you right away? Do I leave them alone and wait a week? What is the etiquette for emails? Should I go by my preference?

Yeah, that is most likely the best idea. If I don’t like getting hounded daily or weekly by some people, I doubt these people do either. If I don’t like emails that try and sell me something or just announce a sale without any consideration to me…you’re in the trash.

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I think this goes on instinct. I bet everyone has their own opinion because there are differing preferences. I will not be able to feel comfortable emailing once a week, I don’t think once a month is okay if I have nothing to say. If I have the book coming out or a short story to try out then great. I will send it to my readers. I don’t feel comfortable filling up the mailbox for no reason.

Even with my exceptional jump in the sales rank and my three readers, my reviews have stayed the same. I have one here, two there. I have less than ten reviews for all of my books combined. That will come with time. I’m sure that if I utilize my email list properly (all three of my fans), I can get more reviews.

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I am quite sure I will have a humongous drop in sales for the books again. I am confident that my rollercoaster ride isn’t over. I am not bragging by any means. Clearly, I am not number one. I have a few emails on my list. I am trying to get more professional and it is working.

Every little detail counts. I see that now. I will create a better product and learn more about this journey. I love every minute.

I read an article today on a well-known publisher’s blog. The quote that stuck with me said (paraphrasing) “I learned more with my failures than I did with my successes.”

I am grateful to have both. I am optimistic when things go my way, on a day like today. I learn a lesson on the days when I feel EVERYTHING has gone wrong. I also have a bag of cookies on hand in case I have a terrible day. Cookies make everything better.

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It is pouring rain in my area. I think even though I’m having a great day; I’ll have a cookie. My rules, I can break them.

You have a fabulous day wherever you are, and happy writing.

Robyn Branick

aka

Robbie Ellie

 

Growing Pains…Is It Worth Paying For Advice?

I have been contemplating this for months now. I sign up on an expert’s mailing list for some free advice, I am blown away by their knowledge, I look up the ‘VIP’ package, I almost pass out by the amount they ask. I go through this vicious cycle at least once every two weeks.

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In the beginning, it was a little bit more often. I knew a lot less, obviously. I learned a few tricks since then. I am reading blogs, I am listening to podcasts, and I am learning many of the experts are friends with each other.

Some associate more often than others. Some are former students of the experts on the podcasts. For example, Joanna Penn is a former student of Mark Dawson. Does this make a difference in deciding whether it’s worth listening to her praise his product? I don’t know. All I know is they are both reasonably successful authors in their own rights, in fiction and nonfiction.

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I can find out a lot of information online for free. Do I know what I need to know? I have no idea. I know I have three emails on my list and one is mine. Not great.

I also know that I was going about this process wrong for the entire time I began my career as a Self Publishing Author.

I advertised two of my five free days of my KDP Unlimited. I forget where I hear that Sundays and Mondays were great days to use, but it worked. I got great exposure. I waited a few weeks, advertised, and asked for those two days. My ebook rocketed to #5 in my category.

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Well, that did nothing for me. I skipped the most important step in the process. I didn’t request reviews, nor did I have a link to an email list anywhere in the ebook. I didn’t even have a link to a website. I was pretty ignorant. I had about a thousand downloads in one day, and I did nothing to solidify any of those readers to become fans.

If I did more research or if I followed the close advice of a paid expert, I might have set it up correctly. I learned this step on my own weeks after my freebie launch. I learned by making BIG mistakes, reading up, watching YouTube, listening to podcasts, reading blogs, and paying closer attention.

I am absolutely confident that I don’t have the faintest idea of my next mistake if I stay solo. I most likely will not know even if I go the pay the piper route. I think I would be able to narrow it down, or at least ask. I could probably ask if I felt comfortable in any groups I am in too. The cyber introvert takes over; this I need to get over. I’m sure there are many of us out there (at least I like to think so).

Say you choose an expert course. Which one do you choose? I tend to think the course material is similar since many of the authors run in the same circles, no? Well, Kindlepreneur wrote an article on his blog about four self-publishing courses. He broke them down and analyzed them. He ACTUALLY took the courses, according to the article.

The article is called:

SELF PUBLISHING COURSES: WHICH ONE IS BEST FOR YOU?

So, not all of the courses are EXACTLY the same, I guess.

I know there were a few emails I received about a specific course. I didn’t trust the expert and the money they were asking? I almost fainted.

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I appreciate you trying to make some money but woah! The reason I need help is that I am not making money. You think I have over a thousand dollars to hand to you? I will stick to searching the internet and making mistakes, thank you.

There are swindlers in every business. This person is rarely seen in the circle, I believe I only noticed one or two webinar spots with this person involved. Then the person disappeared. That leads me to think others saw through the garbage too.

So maybe it is a good thing I did not choose to pick up an expert course so quick out of the gate. I may have ( couldn’t afford that person) picked up the wrong expert for me. I might have not been ready or may not have understood the terminology. Maybe I would have been lost in some of the material. Possibly I would have listened to a swindling expert that would have steered me in the wrong direction.

I wouldn’t know, as I was so new and green at the time. Timing seems to be in everything we do. Whether you choose an expert or go the ‘organic’ route (a term I’ve learned from experts meaning free), I wish you the best of luck.

 

Stay fabulous.

Robyn Branick

aka

Robbie Ellie

Growing Pains…Blurbs, Again!

This is the third post in a row discussing blurbs, but I am beginning to realize they are unavoidable and the difference between book sales and going back to waitressing. I love waitressing, but I would rather sell books.

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Vania Margene Rheault commented on my last post about Libbie Hawker’s blurb tips. I took notes and went through the exercises. After I completed both of Libbie Hawker’s YouTube video’s (both about 13 minutes long, first one here), I reread my blurbs.

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Wow! I do need the practice. I might have been better off leaving some blurbs blank (I’m aware that’s ridiculous). I did a complete overhaul of my e-books. Well, I ‘reblurbed’ my novelette series. For now, I will keep the children’s books as they are. I would like to experiment for a bit. See if the books that are ‘reblurbed’ sell any better than non-revised blurbs.

While I was completing the YouTube exercises, I came across Joanna Penn’s video on Back Book Blurbs. This video is only about five minutes long and gives an insight on what to say for the print version of your synopsis.

Both videos shared have two things I felt that are very important. A target audience and words that are relevant to the genre. I am probably always discussing simple tips to everyone, but to me, they are such common sense, and I don’t think of them. Almost as if when you walk in a room a thousand times, and someone asks what was on the mantle, you can’t answer. It’s always overlooked.

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The target audience of my books is in their thirties and forties. The books are set in the 1990s to early 2000s so they will identify with my main characters. If I said JNCO jeans, most (if not all) of my target audience would understand this detail. Many probably wore them in their teen years. If my target audience were six-year-olds, they would have no idea, JNCOs went out of business years ago.

Then again, JNCOs shouldn’t be in the blurb to begin with. That is a detail. It is vital to stick with the four or five (depending on which article you are reading/ watching) key points and stick to the ‘meat’ (Libbie’s comment) without taking away from your key points.

According to Reedsy’s How to Write a Book Blurb: A Guide for Novelists, using keywords in your blurb will help your Amazon book sales if you write the correct word strings or phrase. For example, if I were to write my synopsis to a mystery or thriller, I would make sure I used the phrase ‘murder victim’ (if there was one in the story). The phrase murder victim will become an Amazon keyword that book.

Both Joanna Penn and Reedsy point out a blurb should be very short. Joanna Penn says 100-150 words for the back of a  print book, Reedsy claims 150-200 words. I didn’t catch if Libbie Hawker gave a word count, but she agrees that the synopsis should not be bogged down with details.

Last post I was curious if I could have a review from Sammy in San Diego (or any regular Joe). Reedsy answered this question. If I have a raving review from an editorial or a reader, I can use it in the blurb. I only have one or two reviews for my books, but this is good news for me.

A few of my books only have five-star reviews with no comments. The readers will see this, so I see no need in wasting my word count by saying ‘five stars’ unless I have nothing more to say.

In any event, I am happy I continued on the quest for influential blurbs. I would never have been able to utilize the content just by ‘researching examples.’ I think I missed the mark. It seems I am researching a bit backward. Maybe I should investigate how to succeed in whatever task it is, then look at examples.

I need to make a mental note of this. At this rate, my one-year goal may need to be pushed back a few months. It is still early, we shall see. Sticking to the plan is essential for success, no?

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Next post will be Friday, I don’t know what I will be blogging about yet, but it will definitely be on writing and not marketing. I am going back to that side of things for a while. A good friend told me it is good to change things up a bit, to keep things from getting stale. Besides, we are writers, that’s the part of the job we like best.

Happy writing and stay fabulous.

Robyn Branick

aka

Robbie Ellie

 

 

 

Growing Pains…Blurbs & Covers; More In-Depth

Since my last post, I have been looking into bestsellers of historical fiction novels. I do not have a novel, I am an author of a novelette series. I feel the best sellers are my best bet for finding juicy blurbs. Some of the novels have over 20k reviews, they hold best seller tags, and are names in the industry.

Whether or not my choice is a good one for using them as examples to “choose books in your genre,” I felt they still have something to teach me. So far, this is what I noticed.

  1. Many of the blurbs were long and detailed.
  2. They used italics and/ or bold writing
  3. If possible, they added smashing reviews from NYT or another well-known reviewer (for me, not possible…at least not yet)

I noticed that a few have reviews from previous books written. I found that interesting. I don’t have many reviews for my books written yet so that one is not possible for me either, but the future is bright. I will keep this in my mental notebook for when I am rich and famous with a massive amount of reviews.

I also looked at some books that had less of a following on Amazon. These books had fewer reviews, they had a simpler cover design, they were lower on the sales chart( farther back pagewise). What I noticed:

  1. No italics or bold fonts.
  2. No reviews are written for the book or previous books.
  3. Less of a detailed description/ Fairly generic, basic description or summary of the book.

I don’t know what you can get out of my observations with these blurbs. Many of us have little options when it comes to a Kirkus or NYT five star review. Many others can’t use previous reviews. I guess thinking out of the box, maybe a review from a lesser known person? Sal from Sacremento gave us a five-star review on our first book?

I would hope that Amazon would allow us to use lesser-known reviews in our blurbs. I am not confident this is a good idea, but if NYT works for the big guys, I am willing to try Sal.

One idea the big authors use that we all have an opportunity to take advantage of is the italics and bold type.

I know that Dave Chesson has a tool that creates more exciting blurbs using italics and bold type (if you are on his mailing list). I have yet to try it. That is on me. Now I see why this is such an invaluable tool. It is called the Free Amazon Book Description Generator Tool. 

Descriptions of our blurbs, I would imagine, comes with practice. Just like writing the book itself, write the blurb, edit, revise, and so on.

Some of us do not have the financial circumstances for my next suggestion, but I will tell you all anyway.

I received an email the other day about an offer for someone else to write my blurbs. I will say this now…I NEVER TRIED THIS. I do not know how this works, but if this is your thing, this is the website: Selling for Authors

I don’t have money for others to write my own blurbs. As a matter of fact, if I wrote the book, I think I should think I could figure out how to write a decent blurb. Right now I am putting in the work to upgrade my capabilities. That is me, others may have a different opinion on the matter.

On to covers:

As I was reading these blurbs in the same category. Why not? Before I read the blurbs, I made notes on the covers. I saw a few things as I looked at my favorites:

  1. The pictures/ backgrounds had something to do with the titles (ex. Beneath a Scarlet Sky: A Novelscarlet sky for “Beneath a Scarlet Sky”)

 

 

 

2. The Boy on the Wooden Box: How the Impossible Became Possible . . . on Schindler's ListThe title is clear and visible ( the boy on the box is blurred/ saturated, possibly using the waterdrop effect…I can’t be sure, but the title is where your eyes are drawn).

 

3. Vincent and Theo: The Van Gogh BrothersMany of the fonts and backgrounds give you a feeling of what the book’s mood could be (ex: this font would be what Van Gogh would use if he had access to computer fonts, the background is symbolic of his paintings. To me, the background shows a crazy story, much like many sibling relationships, or Vincent Van Gogh’s life).

 

I am aware many of us are not artists or designers, but we are readers and see advertising on television, billboards, and the internet. What do you see that invokes emotion? What works for you? Think of colors, what does dark blue do for you? Light blue? Dark green? These colors can set up a feeling for your book.

I think that’s what we are trying to get at. If a writer is selling a humorous novelette, but the cover is black and red with a font that looks like it should be in a Freddy Krueger movie, you lost me as a reader.

One last note about my observations, I noticed that some well-known authors have their names larger than their titles. I assume that is for their followers. Ken Follet had a few books listed, but I can’t remember one title. I just remember his name. I need to make a mental note on that too.

Do I want my name to be remembered or the book I am launching that week? If I am that well-known, they will know my name. I would prefer the readers to see what they are reading. My opinion, you can do what you think is best when you are as well-known as Ken Follet. Maybe this is a tactic that I don’t know yet.

I think I covered enough for today (I know, corny). Stay fabulous.

Robyn Branick

aka

Robbie Ellie

 

Growing Pains…Learning from Example, Why Didn’t I Think of That?

I have been reading and researching many marketing blogs and books this past week. I am trying to ‘mix it up,’ so to speak. My mind needs to focus on sales, even if my brain has about fifteen ideas for stories. I am slowly learning that I need to stick to my schedule and marketing plan if I want to succeed.

The blogs and articles I have been reading this week focus on three things:

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  1. cover design
  2. kick butt blurbs
  3. titles

To have successful designs, blurbs, or titles for your book, they all have the same advice…learn from your peers. This is the most obvious advice EVER!

I am so disappointed in myself for not thinking about doing this before. As a coach for so many years, I told my players to watch college softball and basketball games ALL THE TIME. Learn the game from experienced players. Go to the high school games and watch the players in their positions. I rarely take my own advice. I am such a great role model (insert eye roll here).

I have been on Amazon and Google+ searching through cover designs. I have seen some pretty far out covers. Some I like and some not so much. Then again, some of the covers are not in my genre.

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While reading advice on covers I came upon an unusual comment that comes up in the blogs: ‘create a cover that blends in yet stands out.’ What the heck does this mean?

Okay, they look like all the others, but I splashed a big blob of red paint in the center of my cover. Is that good? I know, but I bet you would look twice. You wouldn’t click to buy, but you would look twice.

Look at examples, what works in your genre? What do you see as a reader of your niche? Which ones stand out? Do you think that cover works for this book? Does it get lost in the pack? Okay, what about this one…is it too out of the ordinary? Does the picture tell you what the book is about (drama, humor, thriller, etc.)? Can you identify this book in a lineup?

Next is the blurb. My worst nightmare! I can write an entire book, then barely write a fifty-word summary on the story. Which I find unbelievable considering how much I can talk to strangers in an elevator. The summary is not really the issue, it is more of the ‘hook’ to get the readers interested. I ask questions, I intrigue the readers with some explanation of the beginning of the book (not much), then I might ask another question.

think outside of the box
Photo by Kaboompics .com on Pexels.com

The children’s books I use a different method. I give a summary of the book without sharing the end. Then I explain the book series is about ‘friendship, fun, and acceptance.’ I still haven’t done much research on blurbs for either genre, but I don’t utilize my word count effectively.

Another article discusses the blurbs are essential for the books’ findings on the search engines. I am not positive on that, look it up. If this is true (it does make sense), I need to reevaluate ALL  of my blurbs.

Last, but certainly not least, the title. I have read two articles that promote title generators. I used a title generator as I was writing this blog.

I have an idea what I want for the title of my next book for my series, but we could always use the help.

The generator asked questions about the main area the in the story, the fault and best asset of the protagonist, and what the main character does for a living.  I didn’t like it. I think the possible reasons why are:

I already have titles in mind

The generator titles don’t fit the titles my previous books in my series have.

They never asked the protagonist’s name

My favorite advice I learned from one article, though, look up your most popular blog posts. See which have the most likes and read the titles. Are they informative? Are they humorous? Are they creative? The titles of your articles are valuable information because your audience is reading them (Ah-hah moment for me).

Does your cover fit in AND stand out?  Does that blurb make you want to go and buy that book? Does this title intrigue you?

person holding white ceramic coffee cup leaning on brown wooden table
Photo by THE 5TH on Pexels.com

Have a fabulous weekend.

 

Robyn Branick

aka

Robbie Ellie

 

Growing Pains…This May Not Be Rocket Science, But I’m No Scientist!

I am slowing down on writing the books; if I have no audience, nobody’s reading them except my mom and aunt. Let me concentrate on marketing for a bit. I am currently rereading Nick Stephenson’s Reader Magnet free download he offers to his mailing list. I am also reading an ebook by Rachel Thompson called “The BadRedhead Media 30-Day Book Marketing Challenge.”

I am reading both at the same time because I read the Reader Magnet before and Rachel Thompson’s ebook is a daily assignment type of set up. I’ve read Nick Stevenson’s download in the past, but as a newbie author, some of the tools in the book were intimidating to me.

I feel overwhelmed with all of this information I read. I am not saying that the Reader Magnet is complicated. Far from it. I needed to step back after the first read, configure MailChimp (for the second and third time), set up a freebie book, and then get my landing page in order.

Honestly, I am not even sure I did it right. I shall find out soon. So many of the experts know this works. Most of them use the funnel book and the magnet book to get the email lists. To be quite honest, I know I’ve read the email list trick many times, but I am still not sure what to do after I get tons of email addresses.

On my children’s book landing page, so far, I have three on my list. One of those email addresses is me; I was testing it to make sure it worked. I don’t believe I am doing it right. I will have to continue rereading Nick’s free book.

As for the 30-day challenge, I learned more about Twitter and a few tips on Facebook that I was not aware of. It is supposed to be one day at a time but a few of the days were simple, so I didn’t follow directions and compiled two days into one. I also had a Facebook account and that day I skipped.

I need to start following directions a bit closer, I have a feeling these books are going to be more complicated as I get more involved.

A fellow blogger mentioned that if I add my ebook to another site and email Amazon to price match, they will oblige. That was in Nick’s book. I missed that while I was reading it the first time so I definitely will be reading it a third time. I couldn’t believe I missed it.

There is so much information that I miss or misunderstand. I am not sure if it is the overwhelming feeling of so much going on or trying to complete a task that ‘isn’t rocket science.’ Then you hit a bump in the road because you’re not familiar with a website or application, so you forget what you were doing in the first place.

I read in the 30-day challenge of scheduling tweets with apps like Hootsuite, I can set time in my day and tweet through a schedule, then retweet or comment when it’s convenient. Hashtags are important too. I never used them. I just started yesterday.

Enough about the book, you should just read it yourself. So far it is good. I am only on the second week or so, but it has taught me a lot about social media I thought I knew but didn’t.

The 30-day Challenge

The BadRedhead Media 30-Day Book Marketing Challenge by [Thompson, Rachel]

To be fair, I will link Nick Stephenson and his blog page. This way you can find information on how to find your first 10k readers, sign up for his email page and receive his bonuses for being on his email lists. I am sure you will learn a lot from him if you decide to do so ( I have I just submerged myself). I listened to his podcast with Joanna Penn, and it explained a lot.

Many of the experts have the same basic ideas. Don’t sell your books, be yourself. Have a landing page, a magnet book, funnel book, or giveaway, and grow your email lists. Be social on social media but don’t be spammy, that’s annoying.

Now the keywords and SEO are still my biggest issue. So is configuring my emails (as I mentioned above, but hopefully that will change soon). I am going to continue reading the books and get a better grasp of the websites and apps I need to use for uploading my freebies and whatever I need to.

This is new, I will get it. The technology was so much easier when I didn’t use it for fifteen hours a day.

Stay fabulous everyone!

Robyn Branick

aka

Robbie Ellie