Friday, February 20, 2015

#FridayReads: Top 3 Problems for New Authors #amwriting

When we are just starting out, most of us have no clue what we are doing. Here are a couple of the most common problems you'll encounter as a published noob and what to do about it:

Problem 1: Getting Reviews

Getting reviews are tough! But it can be done. As of writing this, I have 134 reviews on Amazon, so I know it CAN be done. Try the following:

Target bloggers, presses, and websites. 

Most sites will state if they accept review requests. Contact all other presses/bloggers who also accept review requests and politely solicit this service. Leave no stone unturned!

Start early. 

I’d send out ARCs- 1-2 months in advance if possible. Keep a running list of who has received a copy/accepted request for review. Send an email 1-2 weeks before release to remind them and state where you want review posted (on their site, Amazon, Goodreads, Barnes and Noble, etc.) You can also sign up for early reviewers through LibraryThing

Go digital where possible. 

Send them a .mobi file (kindle compatible) or .epub file (Barnes and Noble, etc compatible) for their ereaders or a formatted WORD doc--save $, shipping, and time.

Put a short and sweet request in the back of your eBook

I learned this from Let's Get Visible (great book, read it. Also it's predecessor, Let's Get Digital). In the back of the book (mine is in the bio), it has a simple "If you like my work, please support me by leaving a review wherever possible." It's a nice reminder that this is how I make my livelihood and the readers really are making a difference when they share their review. (You really are changing my life!)

I have more to say on reviews here.

Problem 2: Unreliable Help

Not having your design work when you need it can be frustrating and disrupt your whole train. It might seem like a no-brainer, but learn to do what you can by yourself. And when you must find help, go with someone reliable.  If you think you need a new designer/helper, cut them loose. You don't have time to play around. 

Here are some of my favorite outsources :

John K. Addis, who does my covers just started his own business and is looking for clients. You can check him out.

Kriss of CabinGoddess made my banging banner.

Rebecca Poole, of Dreams2Media. She’s super sweet and down in Georgia and makes a wicked cover and video trailers as well as rack cards/bookmarks for your promotional needs.

Sharon Stogner of Devil in the Details offers editing services.

There’s also, which offers professional services (of all kinds) on the cheap. 

Or you could simply become a master of Photoshop, Scrivener,the web all on your own. 

Problem 3: I don't know how to promote myself.

A: There are many, many resources on the internet that answer the how and why of self-promotion. Here are my top 3.

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