HONOR THY FATHER Part One

Wannabe Pride’s Book Pick of the Week is:

HonorSixteen year old Riley Campbell never imagined she’d be sitting in a courtroom waiting to testify as a witness in a rape case, but that’s what she’s doing.

After a year of preparation Riley is ready to take the stand on behalf of Abigail Michaelson. The trial unwinds as witness after witness gets up to build the prosecution’s case in their attempt to put away the young man accused of raping Abigail – Jonathan Campbell, Riley’s brother.

Not only will Riley face the demands of the trial, but she will face the fear of losing her family as she stands up to testify against her own flesh and blood.

Amazon – http://www.amazon.com/HONOR-THY-FATHER-Part-1-ebook/dp/B010BFFBXY

Barnes and Noble – http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/honor-thy-father-genevieve-barnes/1122193597?ean=2940152158649

 

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6 Tips for Writers for Dealing with Icky Technological Stuff

 techThere are a lot of talented, creative writers out there who are great with all that left-brained, complicated, technological stuff.

I am not one of those writers….

As an indie author, I still have to deal with graphic design for book covers and advertisements, formatting for eBooks and paperbacks, and lots of other icky techy stuff like that. I’m serious about self-publishing, so I’m doing my best to attack that kind of thing head-on, rather than try to avoid it. I truly believe that embracing the business side of self-publishing means the difference between success and failure.

I am generally a fairly patient person, but when it comes to dealing with technology, it takes precious little for me to absolutely lose my damn mind. I am just no good at it! Give me a cooking recipe, I can follow it and make a delicious meal. However, if you give me plain, step-by-step instructions on how to use a computer program, I just do not get it. Not the first time. Not the second time. Sometimes not even the third or fourth of fifth. This usually results in a lot of yelling things like “I am so STUPID!! I just CAN’T DO THIS!”

Believe it or not, I’ve found that completely flipping out and screaming doesn’t usually make me understand the technology any better. However, I have developed some coping mechanisms that I have found helpful, and maybe you will, too.

  1. Give Yourself A Damn Break – If you’re like me, you’re just not good with technical stuff. Well, guess what? You’re not good at it, and you’re tackling it anyway. Good for you. Good for me. Anybody can do what comes naturally to them, but it takes hard-working folks to master things that are difficult. Give yourself a cookie and a pat on the back.

  1. Decide You Can Do It – You already know it’s not going to be easy, but you need to make a conscious decision that you can and will do it.

  1. Baby Steps – Yes, you should decide that you can do it, but you shouldn’t give yourself a super-short timeframe. My recent frustration was in learning how to do a Facebook Ad. I really wanted to sit down for an hour or two, learn how to do an ad, and have it up and running before I got up from my desk. It didn’t quite work out that way… I needed, once again, to remind myself that this is tough for my airy-fairy right-brainy self. It works best for me to learn anything technological with one or two steps at a time.

  1. Ask Yourself – Do I Know More Today Than I Did Yesterday? If the answer is yes, give yourself another cookie. Sometimes my baby-steps learning sessions still end in tears, but I’ve learned to ask myself that question. It’s incredibly frustrating to spend an hour trying to learn how to do something, only to run out of time before you get it figured out. Still, I take a deep breath and ask – do I know more than I did when I started? The answer is almost always YES, even if I only learned what didn’t work…

  1. Stop When You’ve Hit a Brick Wall –There were many times when I was trying to figure out how to put together an ad that I got to a point when I was totally stuck. I just didn’t know the answer. I’ve learned that that is the time to stop for the time being. Now is the time to ask for help. If you don’t have a technology expert in your house, ask fellow writers on KBoards, Facebook groups, or other message boards. Yes, you might have to wait a few hours to get a response, but it’s likely that somebody else has a quick answer, thus saving you hours of frustration. It’s not admitting defeat to admit you need help. It’s a lot wiser than banging your head against that brick wall.

  1. Don’t Give Up – This is simple, not easy, advice. It’s great to say Rah-rah! You can do it! But it’s hard to keep going when you feel like you’re never going to get it. If you give yourself reasonable time to accomplish a goal, ask for help when you get stuck, and just keep going until you get it, you really can do it. You’ve worked so hard on your books, and you really owe it to yourself to master the business side so you get the word out about your stories.

Remember, each time you master something, you own that knowledge forever. Be sure to take ample notes – notes in plain language that you can understand – so you can refer to them time and time again. It’s taking me forever to figure out the tech aspects of preparing a Facebook ad – but once I master it, I will use that knowledge for every book I write and publish for the rest of my life. Plus, the more I master techniques that once seemed impossible, the more confident I become.

What’s most difficult for you? What are some of your coping techniques?

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BE MY LOVE – Wannabe Pride’s Book Pick of the Week

This week’s Pick of the Week is:

Be My Love

Come for a visit to Walker Island where you’ll find stunning Pacific Northwest ocean views, men too intriguing to resist…and five close-knit sisters who are each about to find their one true love.

After four years on the Seattle mainland, when Hanna Walker returns to Walker Island to make a documentary about the infamous Peterson-Walker feud from the early 1950s, she’s shocked to realize that passions still run high. Especially when it comes to Joel Peterson, the one man who is totally off-limits…but that she’s never been able to stop dreaming about.

The last thing Joel wants is for Hanna to dredge up the past, but when he realizes she’s determined to follow through with her documentary no matter what, he knows he has no choice but to join her. But despite vowing to hold back his growing feelings for her, as Joel works with Hanna to unravel the mystery of what really happened between their two families, he soon begins to see that love is an unstoppable force…and that sometimes two people are meant to be.

Be My Love is the first fun, sweet, and emotional contemporary romance in the Walker Island series from New York Times and USA Today bestselling author, Lucy Kevin.
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Amazon – http://www.amazon.com/Love-Walker-Island-Romance-Book-ebook/dp/B00IPYDXJS

Author Website – http://lucykevin.com/books/be-my-love/

Join the Wannabe Pride Writing Network Facebook Page!

Look

As you probably know by now, Facebook’s algorithms have changed and they love to hide things from your newsfeed. I’ve found that it’s not enough to have a Facebook page anymore, and I think it’s best to have a Closed Facebook Page. The “closed” part isn’t an effort to keep the group super-secret and inclusive, but rather to ensure that the posts and links shared are actually seen by group members.

So! I invite my fellow writers to join the Wannabe Pride Writing Network Facebook page at:

WPWN Facebook

The mission of the writing network is to:

  • Support ALL writers, particularly indie / self-published ones

  • Share both success and failure stories

  • Share book and blog links – self-promotion is encouraged!

This is OUR writing network, not MINE, so let’s make it great! Post anything you feel that will be helpful to the group and to you as a writer.

PLEASE promote your own book and blog links!

SHARE your mistakes and your triumphs so we can all learn.

DISCUSS anything that may be on your mind.

TOGETHER, we can help each other be successful writers.

Welcome, and Happy Writing!

  • Linda Fausnet

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The Empowerment of Self-Publishing

 strong

This week I was reminded of why I love self-publishing and why I do not miss the elusive chase that was pursuing traditional publishing.

I recently self- published a middle-grade novel. It’s harder to promote a self-published middle-grade book online than a genre book for adults. One hurdle I’m facing now is that it’s difficult to get book bloggers to review a middle-grade novel on their websites.

My first book was LGBT fiction, and it wasn’t too hard to get book bloggers to review it. I suspect that for my next two books, chick lit and paranormal romance respectively, it might be even easier. There are lots of open-minded, book-loving bloggers who readily review quality, self-published works.

Not so much for middle-grade books. I wasn’t sure if there were too many middle-grade bloggers out there, but I did find a whole list of them online. When I started looking over the review policies on the websites, I found that the vast majority of them specifically refuse to consider self-published works.

The more I read through these sites, the worse I felt. Each one felt like a rejection, and it reminded me so much of the hopelessness of the traditional publishing query process. I remember reviewing site after site of literary agents whose submission policies said things like:

  • We will ONLY considered previously published writers

  • Submissions accepted by referral ONLY.

  • Please contact us ONLY if you have met us personally at a writer’s conference.

These agents and MG bloggers seemed to say: If we don’t already know you, we’re not about to give you a chance to prove yourself. One of the bloggers even stated “I am not interested in any books you had to publish yourself.”

Ouch.

It didn’t feel good to read all those depressing NOs. The whole experience left me with that icky, helpless, degraded feeling I used to get when contacting agents. I know most of agents are probably nice in person, but the websites always seemed to say GO AWAY. YOU SMELL LIKE DESPERATION AND FAILURE.

Look, I get that many pros in the business have been burned by self-published authors who waste their valuable time by submitting sub-par, poorly written, and/or badly formatted manuscripts, but I am not one of those authors. It’s unfair to lump us all into one category.

I almost didn’t finish the blogger’s list, but I forced myself to. So far, I did get one “yes” to a review and another lovely pro-indie blogger said I could do a guest post.

Anyway, I was glad to get that done and get back to my regularly scheduled indie writer life. As a self-published author, I get to call the shots. I can try all sorts of marketing strategies – social media, paid ads, emails, etc. Some will work, some won’t, but they’ll all up to me to try.

I don’t have to wait for a Yes.

I’m the writer and I approve this message. Thankfully, that’s all I need!

– Linda Fausnet

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Four Things You’re Doing to Ruin Your Self-Publishing Career

 

Papa

There is an immense freedom that comes with self-publishing your work. You can write whatever the hell you want and publish whenever the hell you like. You don’t have to wait for the approval of an agent or a publisher. You are in control of your own writing career!

To paraphrase a quote from a certain arachnid-themed superhero film, with great freedom comes great responsibility.

I repeat – You are in control of your writing career. You are also capable of ruining it before it begins. Here are some ways you may be sabotaging your chances of success:

1. Editing the Book Yourself – I don’t care how well you write, you are incapable of seeing all the errors in your own work. You know what you meant to write – readers will see what you actually wrote. It’s so easy to omit simple words in a sentence because your writing brain mentally fills them in when you’re reading your own work. As for grammar and punctuation rules, there are millions of them and you’re likely to get lots of them wrong. I know I do! I would be terrified to publish a book that hadn’t been professionally edited.

2. Improperly formatting the manuscript– Formatting is something you may be able to do yourself. I can’t. I am utterly techno-phobic and wouldn’t even attempt it. It is possible to teach yourself how to properly format your manuscript for eBook and/or paperback, but don’t do it unless you’re sure you can do it 100% correctly. Don’t kid yourself by saying things like “Ah, the formatting’s only slightly off, nobody will notice.” Yes. Yes they will. It’s the first thing I look for in a self-published book. If it looks unprofessional, I won’t download it, even if it’s free.

3. Ignoring page and word count guidelines – If your book is fewer than 150 pages, it’s not a novel (at least not an adult one). I don’t care if it’s a free giveaway. If a reader settles down with a book you’ve marketed as a novel and finds it’s only 100 pages, he’s going to be disappointed. Angry, even. Angry enough to give you a bad review on Amazon. Writing shorter works is great! Just market them honestly as short stories or novellas, whatever the case might be. You also may want to price the story accordingly, perhaps .99 or 1.99.

4. Having a Bad Cover – This doesn’t just refer to the professionalism of the cover, though of course that’s critical. If you’re not good at art and graphic design (I’m not. As you can tell, there’s a long list of stuff I suck at…) don’t attempt it yourself. Whether you do it yourself or not, make sure you do your homework. An attention-getting design isn’t always better, believe it or not. Your number one goal is to attract the right readers –those who read your genre. If you’re marketing a romance, it’s important that your cover screams – this is a romantic book! That way, it will catch the eye of readers looking for a romantic read. If your cover grabs attention but doesn’t make the genre clear, readers will pass on it. Likewise, you want to make sure the cover matches the story. If the cover is pink and bright but the story is tragic and violent, your reader will be the one who’s dark and stormy.

I hear lots of self-publishers making excuses for not following these common sense rules of professional writing.

But I got good reviews! – If you have only a handful of reviews, enjoy them. You won’t be getting many more. When your book first came out, you may have had a few readers willing to overlook your errors, but this good fortune won’t work long-term. Word of mouth is a powerful thing, and most readers will not recommend poorly written or badly formatted books. Also, no professional book blogger is going to bother to review a book that is incorrectly formatted. Sure, you’re not getting bad reviews that complain about that badly written book – that’s because most people won’t buy or read the book in the first place.

I can’t afford an editor, a formatter, and a cover artist! I filed for bankruptcy the year I published my first book .Guess what I did first? Paid the editor, the formatter, and the cover artist. I worked too damn hard on that book to make it look unprofessional. Times are tough, no question about it. But you’re tougher. Sell your blood, have a lemonade stand, I don’t care what you do. You owe it to yourself to do right by your book. Don’t sabotage yourself by taking shortcuts.

I know some of my Wannabe Pride articles sound harsh sometimes, but it really is because I care about indie writers. I WANT YOU TO SUCCEED.

I’ve dreamed for twenty years of being a published writer, and I finally made it happen with my debut novel in 2014. So far, I’ve gotten a positive review on the front page of an LGBT newspaper as well as several great book blogger reviews, been invited to give two public talks about the book, sold about three times the number of books that I had expected, and got my novel accepted into my local public library system.

I teared up as I wrote that last paragraph, because I still can’t believe that all that happened.

No, I’m not a huge success and I’m not ready to quit my day job, but this whole experience has been a dream come true. I want all this and more to happen for you.

None of this would have happened if my formatting had been even a touch off the mark or if my book contained grammatical errors. The library would have rejected it, no professional would have reviewed it, and I would have only gotten a handful of book sales.

Don’t sell yourself short.

Push yourself to be the very best you can be.

I believe in you.

You need to believe in yourself.

– Linda Fausnet

 

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The Book Launch from HELL

Joyville

I launched my second book this week. Kind of.

Not really.

The publication of this particular book has pretty much been a disaster from the beginning.

The book, THE JOYVILLE SWEAT SOX, is a book about baseball aimed at middle-schoolers. I love baseball, and I wrote it during the time when my son played Little League for the first time. Writing the book was a dream. Publishing it has been a nightmare.

I wrote the book back in the bad old days when it was traditional publishing or bust as far as I was concerned. I’ve since come to my senses and gone the self-publishing route, which is much preferable to the slow, agonizing death of my writing career that was trying to get agents and publishers to give me the time of day. I queried as usually, got rejected, got sad, got over it, and shelved the project.

Enter self-publishing. As I’ve mentioned in previous articles, this book is not likely to sell well because it’s not easy to market to grade schoolers online. My best bet is word of mouth through people I know, particularly my kids’ friends at school and my son’s baseball teammates.

I wasn’t even planning to release this book just yet. The next book after my debut novel was supposed to be a chick lit book that I finished writing long ago. Our finances are tight, dangerously so, and I just do not have the money to pay for the editing for that novel right now and there is no way I would EVER publish a book without have it professionally edited. That book is currently being edited by an intelligent, wonderful well-meaning but s-l-o-o-o-w moving grammar Nazi friend. She’s had it for five months and is about 2/3rds done with the editing.

It has been excruciatingly painful to wait, but I just don’t have a choice. I hate that all I seem to talk about is my first book, QUEEN HENRY, for the past year. It’s embarrassing, and it makes me look like I haven’t done a damn thing since last July. It’s not true. I’ve done extensive rewrites on two novels and I’ve written 65,000 words of a new novel since then. I’m not lazy. I’m broke. I’m trying to keep the lights on and food on the table. I hate seeing those completed book sit and rot. It hurts. But I can’t do anything about it.

Publishing THE JOYVILLE SWEAT SOX is cheaper because it’s shorter. That means lower cost for editing and formatting. My son read this book when I first completed it and he loved it. I thought I would put together the book, dedicate it to him, and publish it for his birthday on May 17. It wouldn’t make a lot of money, but at least I would have SOMETHING out there, and it would be a wonderful present for my son. Plus, I love the story and I couldn’t wait to share it, especially with children.

I managed to scrape together the money to pay for editing and formatting, and all I needed was the cover. Long story short, my cover designer completely screwed me over. He didn’t mean to, but he did. I went to him a MONTH before my deadline of May 4 and asked if he could have the cover done by then. He should have said no, but he did the worst possible thing by promising he could do it and then not even coming close. He kept swearing it would be done on time, then soon, then almost; all those bullshit promises that I stupidly kept believing. I finally took the project back from him (since I already missed my son’s birthday), got my money back, and I found a terrific designer who swooped in and saved the day. He completed the project in a week, and the cover is beautiful

It was FAR too late for my son’s birthday, but it was in enough time to get the book out and published before school was out and before Noah’s baseball season was over.

Today is the last day of school for my kids, and my son’s last baseball game is tonight. Both my son and daughter brought a proof copy of the book to show all their friends, and Noah showed his teammates. Many of the kids on his team were excited about the book.

Then something went wrong with Amazon.

The paperback is still not available for sale, though I approved it June 3. It’s available on Kindle, though the few kids I know who own Kindle Fires use it for games, not reading. Kindle doesn’t help me when I’m marketing to fourth and firth graders.

Summer vacation starts tomorrow. Those kids will forget about the book. You only get one chance at a time like this. My son brought his book into school when he first got it, but he’s not going to take it in next year. It’ll be old news.

The opportunity for those few precious sales is gone.

Amazon sent me stock email saying they don’t know “when or if” it will be available.

I’m stuck with no answers and I’m heartsick over it.

I finally posted the link to the Kindle version on Facebook and Twitter last night and got three “Likes” and one retweet. Nobody cares. It’s not really for my Facebook friends. It’s a kid’s book, and I have nothing to offer the kids.

Yesterday sure didn’t feel like a book launch. I feel like I sank my last dime into publishing this book, and I’m devastated at the result. Sadly, it’s not enough to write a good book. You also have to have money and luck, and I really don’t have either.

There have been a lot of tears and heartbreak this week, but I will say this. I still got up every morning this week and wrote from 6:30-7:30am. I wrote more than 5000 words on my new novel.

It’s going to take more than bankruptcy, threats of foreclosure, and a clusterfuck of a book launch to keep me from pursuing my dream.

For what it’s worth, here’s the Kindle link for my new book. If you know anyone who might like it – kids or even adults who love baseball – I hope you’ll pass it on.

– Linda Fausnet (lindafausnet@gmail.com)

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Why It’s Okay to Publish a Book That Probably Won’t Sell

 

fave

No, this article is not about to tell you that it’s okay to use a stock cover, do your own editing, and ignore proper formatting rules.

I’m talking about genre, story. The best-selling indie books tend to be erotica, romance, mystery, and thriller. What if you have an idea for a novel that doesn’t fit anywhere in these popular categories?

Neither traditional publishing nor Hollywood are known for taking on risky projects. It’s understandable, really, because there’s typically a lot of money at stake and there’s a lot to lose if you gamble on an untested type of story. Unfortunately, that’s why there is such a glut of superhero movies and sequels. Slap the word Marvel on a film and it’s guaranteed to make big bucks, and a sequel to a bad movie is likely to make money if the first one did. With traditional publishing, the number one priority of agents and publishers is producing a book they really believe will sell well. Again, this makes good business sense, but it also results in a lot of repetition, severe lack of originality, and little room for passion projects.

Enter self-publishing.

We indie folks are all about passion projects. We don’t have to wait for someone else to tell us we’re allowed to write and publish what we love, and we can afford to take risks. If you publish a book traditionally and it doesn’t sell well – and quickly – it’s going to get yanked from the shelves with no second chances. If you thought it was hard to get traditionally published the first time, good luck getting a second deal, EVER, if your first book didn’t sell well. I was listening to one of Simon Whistlers’ podcasts recently with host David Gaughran, author of Let’s Get Digital, and they were discussing the fact that there are no asterisks in publishing. Even if your terrible sales record was completely beyond your control ( for instance, your book was released on 9/11, or your publisher suddenly pulled all its advertising of your book to focus on another hot release) you’re still going to be blamed for sluggish book sales. Your career could be over before it’s begun.

The worst-case scenario for a self-published book is that you’re disappointed that your book didn’t sell well, then it’s on to the next. You can even leave your book up for sale indefinitely in the hopes that it could still take off someday. And why not? The book is still part of your backlist and could still get sales as you slowly build your following.

You can slowly build your following.

And there it is – one of the coolest parts of being an indie author. Your career doesn’t have to take off like gangbusters right away. Realistically, how many endeavors are successful immediately? Almost everything worth doing takes a lot of perseverance and hard work.

So if you’ve got a book that you just love and don’t want to let go of – DON’T. You can’t expect it to make you a lot of money (though it could), but you can expect to be really excited and proud of it. That passion shines through, and you’ll probably find at least a handful of readers who really love that book of yours that means so much to you. Isn’t that what being an author is all about? That special relationship between reader and author?

I wrote a middle-grade book called THE JOYVILLE SWEAT SOX. It’s about baseball, which I love. It has lots of humor, which l love. My eleven-year-old, baseball-playing son loves the book, and I love him.

I can’t market the book, which is targeted at boys and girls aged 9-12, on Twitter. Those little people aren’t old enough to be on Facebook, and it’s not too likely they’re going to sign up for my email list anytime soon.

This book is likely not going to be hugely successful for me.

I wrote this article – Self-publishing Means Never Having to Say Goodbye – all about how sad I was that I that I was never going to publish that middle-grade novel.

Yeah, well, I’ve changed my mind.

It probably won’t make much money. So what? I don’t have an agent or a publisher breathing down my neck for big sales numbers. The publishing company releasing the book is WANNABE PRIDE publishing. MY COMPANY. I’m the boss, and I approved this project.

No, it won’t sell a ton of books, but maybe it will make a few kids laugh. Maybe I’ll get to give a talk at a school about it at some point. And, as proud as I am of QUEEN HENRY, my super-gay, pro-equality LGBT book, I know it’s not for everyone. I don’t mind talking about the book, but when someone who is uber-conservative asks me about what I’ve written, I kind of inwardly roll my eyes. Just don’t ask. You’re not gonna like it.

THE JOYVILLE SWEAT SOX is perfectly acceptable and appropriate for all ages. Knowing the kind of racy stuff I usually write, I’m not going to be able to say that often. The book is about a woman, Konnie Mack, who loves baseball but hasn’t played the sport since her beloved father passed away. It’s against the law to get mad in the town of Joyville, and her punishment for having a hot temper is to coach the local Little League team. The kids have never played baseball, so it will take a lot of patience for her to teach them without totally blowing her top.

Once this book is released, I’ll always have a book that my friends and family can read and promote to others without blushing. I can send a copy to the old orthodontic office where I used to work, and if I’m chatting up old ladies in line in the supermarket, I can recommend they buy a copy for their grandkids. I might only sell a handful of copies, but I will get to share my story after all.

And that’s pretty cool.

So if you’ve got a weird, crazy, potential-flop of a tale you really want to tell, DO IT. Go ahead and greenlight the project and make it happen! You’re the boss and you’re in charge. Don’t invest your life savings in a super-risky project, but don’t let the fear of failure stop you from pursuing something that you truly have a passion for.

The only real failure is that risk you didn’t take.

  • Linda Fausnet

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Why Authors Should Answer Their Fan Mail

Snob

If you’re new to self-publishing, it may be hard to imagine that someday you might have actual fans – people who really love your work and are excited to read more. It will be really exciting when some of those fans are passionate enough about your work that they actually reach out to you, whether it be on Facebook, Twitter, or even in an email.

It may tempting for you to play it cool. You might be jumping up and down with excitement that you’ve actually got some fan mail, but perhaps you decide not to answer, preferring instead to act like you’re too busy and too important to answer back.

I don’t recommend that course of action.

As a newly self-published author, one who has spent over twenty years wallowing in obscurity, I treasure each and every sale that I get. It makes me so happy when someone buys my book, or even downloads it for free. I’m honored that people take the time to read my books, and if a fan ever contacted me, I would be more than happy to write back. I realize that it’s easy for me to say that now. I don’t have people sending me emails every day, so of course I could respond easily to anyone who contacted me.

As authors, we’re always bombarded with so much information on marketing and social media. Ya gotta advertise on Facebook! Tweet five times a day! Use Pinterest and Linked in! It’s easy to forget the SOCIAL in social media. It doesn’t work for me to have you throw marketing in my face and walk away. If I’m a true fan (which is what you want, after all. That’s why you’re marketing), I might want some kind of personal response.

My advice is, if a fan writes to you, write her back. You can wait 24 hours if you don’t want to appear overeager. Of, if you’re fortunate enough to have lots of fan mail, write back but make your responses quick. Even if a fan writes you a ten-page love letter, you can still write back with only a few sentences, and you don’t have an obligation to keep the conversation going after that. Fans should understand that you’re busy, but it’s not too much to ask to get some kind of response when they send you a nice message about your work.

Sean Platt, one of the authors and self-publishing gurus behind Write, Publish, Repeat (a great resource for indies if you haven’t read it) wrote me back and answered my question about publishing middle-grade fiction. It really meant a lot to me and I never forgot it.

And guess what? I never would have plugged his book as I just did if he’d ignored me. I wouldn’t hold a grudge I guess, but I would have been disappointed and wouldn’t go out of my way to promote his work.
I had a similar situation with an indie author whose books I LOVE. I’ve only read two so far, and I couldn’t put them down. They were just the type of book I love to read – sweet, sexy, tender romance with an excellent plot, so it’s not just lovey-dovey stuff. I loved her first book and made it a Wannabe Pride Book Pick of the Week. I just read her second book and did the same thing. I loved that book so much that I deliberately read it slowly so that it wouldn’t end. I said this on Twitter and tagged the author. To be fair, she did answer back on Twitter to say thanks.

She has a Contact Me email address on her website, so I did. I wrote her a nice email and told her how much I loved her books, and how I admired her for her success. I told her she was an inspiration to me. She somehow managed to get a review in The New York Times of her self-published book, and I asked how she managed such a great accomplishment.

As you can probably guess, she never wrote me back. I’m not gonna lie; it kinda broke my heart. I really don’t have the enthusiasm for her work that I once had. I loved her books – she was really my favorite author – but now when I see her books, it kinda bums me out. I’m not trying to be petty, but I just don’t have much interest in reading her stuff anymore. So I haven’t read any more so far.

I’m sure it’s no big deal to her if I don’t buy her books, but this loss of sale(s) could have easily been avoided. If she had taken the time to write me back- even two sentences – that would have been enough for me. As my readers know by reading Wannabe Pride, I have a real passion for helping other authors. I really feel that we need to look out for each other. If you’re ahead of me on the success ladder, I hope you’ll reach down, give me a hand, and help pull me up. It’s what I would do.

I also feel it’s a little unfair to encourage your fans to Contact Me if all you want is for us to tell you how great you are. Even with traditional publishing, gone are the days where the publishers do all the publicity for you. YOU need to be your own best advertising advocate. Taking your fans for granted is just not wise, no matter how successful you are.

Okay – one more rejected-by-an-author story. Through an acquaintance, I’ve met a  traditionally-published Young Adult author. I’ve met her once in person – when I attended a book signing of hers – and we’re friends on Facebook. I’ve responded to several of her posts on Facebook. They were posts about writing, and I commented about my own experience. She never answered back, even though there were usually only one or two other comments on the thread. I definitely get an “I’m better than you” vibe from her, though I could be wrong. After all, I drove to her book signing, listened to her talk, and bought a copy of her book (and not the Kindle version, either). This woman knows who I am and knows I have self-published a book, but she really doesn’t bother to give me the time of day. It’s frustrating, because if the shoe was on the other foot, I would have been excited to see what I could do to help her. Kinda annoys me, too, when I think of all the literary agents who will only considered a new writer if she is referred by a published author. So what happens when published authors treat you like garbage?

She has a three-book series out now. Guess how many I bought after the book signing? Again, I know I’m small potatoes, but a sale’s a sale. And she’s lost mine, and any other publicity I might have given her.

One last story. I promise.

Jodi Picoult is an internationally-renowned, traditionally-published, New York Times bestselling author, who has had several movies made based on her books. If you send her an email, she usually sends you a brief yet very friendly response within 24 hours.

Do you want to be a classy, humble, appreciative author, or play it cool and aloof, even when it means losing followers?

  • Linda Fausnet

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AuthorRise – A Great Resource for Indie Writers – is FREE This Week Only!

I’ve been a beta user for this emerging program, and now they’re ready to go live. There’s typically a subscription fee, but they’re letting people sign up free for the next week, so I recommend you take a look. The website is https://www.authorrise.com/.

Chris Weber, CEO of AuthorRise, guest blogged for Wannabe Pride a few months ago.
How To Create Your Social Marketing Strategy (for Writers) by Chris Weber, CEO, AuthorRise.

AuthorRise basically helps you navigate social media marketing campaigns for your books, and helps you track your success. It boasts the following services:

It can help you set social media goals. It’s so hard to know what to tweet and when, and this program helps guide you through the process. You can start slow – one or two social media message per day – then work your way up.

You Can Create “flyers” – These are like free, mini-ads that you can create easily. Flyers eye-catching, visual messages you can create by adding a brief message, a link, and an image (like your book cover). These flyers are shareable/ tweetable and take just seconds to create. I am utterly techno-phobic, and it was easy for me to do. Here’s what one of mine looks like:

Flyer

Helps you track book sales. You can easily track book sales with the program, and you even get an email notification when there is a spike in your Amazon ranking.

Helps you track the success and reach of all your social media outlets. I think this is one of the coolest aspects of AuthoRise. You can plainly see which social media messages work and which don’t. You can see how many people clicked on your website or Amazon page and what message sent them there. This is valuable information for any author to see which social media platforms work best and which messages garner the most attention.

So far, it seems like a useful service and the customer service help has been top-notch. Whenever I’ve had questions, Chris Weber himself usually answers back, and rather quickly. The folks at AuthorRise seem to really want to help indie writers, so it’s worth taking a look.

– Linda Fausnet

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Join my WRITERS email list for Writing Tips and Book Recommendations!
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