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Four steps to purchasing Indie books successfully.

I’m so excited to celebrate Indie authors this coming Fourth of July!

But first we have to find them. Read on to find out how!

 

It doesn’t matter what forums I go to the debate of self publishing is there, constant, whining like a mosquito in my ear.

“I stay away from free books.”

“Writers self publish because they couldn’t make it traditionally.”

“It’s all crap.”

This might be true in some cases. But the Indelibles wanted a way to change the stigma, to show that great Indies or Self Publishers – whichever you prefer – exist. So we created this INDIEpendence Day event to showcase these high quality books.

You can read all the rules and sign up at the Indelibles. We’d love for you to join us! And it can be a self published or small press book. What a great way to pay it forward and show the love!

How to sift through all the books and find the nuggets.

  1. Go to a traditional or self published book you love on Amazon. Click on the customers also bought and scroll through. Usually the self published books are 4.99 and lower but not always. I’ve also found some on Pixel of Ink, my Twitter feed, book bloggers, the Amazon free lists and paid lists…etc.
  2. Download a sample to preview later or click on the book and read the first pages. You know your tastes and the style you like.
  3. Read the reviews – specifically the 3 and 4 star ones. Look for the constructive criticisms not the rude ones. Are the downsides something you don’t mind?
  4. Purchase or don’t purchase. It’s that simple.

Of course, no matter how a book is published we might love opening pages and the reviews and then halfway through the book lose that lovin’ feeling. But in the opening pages you should be able to tell if the writing is up to par and a style you’ll enjoy. I know this process is really simple but by following it I’ve enjoyed almost every single self published and/or small press and/or traditionally published I’ve purchased.

So if you’ve recently read a small press or self published book I invite you to join us in paying it forward. Sign up here. And everyone who participates will be entered in for a prize. There’s a nifty Linky Link way to sign up!

How do you find books?

 

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Results of the reverse blog tour.

Publishing is changing fast and so is the way we market books! I chose to do a reverse blog tour.

Many writers who choose to publish independently are faced with choosing marketing strategies. Do you do the blog tour or not do the blog tour? Because there are a lot of opinions out there.

It’s a given that if you publish traditionally and are starting out that a blog tour is a must because sales in the first few weeks are crucial. A burst of sales is terrific for any book but with self publishing we have time for a story to build and spread. Blog tours are optional. Marketing is even optional – if you want to risk it.

Here are the different scenarios I’ve seen:

  1. Author rarely blogs or promotes. Book takes off.
  2. Author works her butt off to market and promote and it pays off with decent sales but as soon as the marketing stops, the sales decrease dramatically. It never took off.
  3. Author completes every marketing act known to mankind and never reaches the desired sales count. (Not to say that it won’t happen later.)

These factors got me thinking while I looked at my goals. I wanted to complete the first draft of the sequel to A Spy Like Me before summer vacation started. I realized that blog tours were a lot of work and it was all about me and my book. AND a blog tour and all the work involved don’t always translate over to sales.

But I really wanted to do something to celebrate my debut release.

So I decided on the reverse blog tour. I wanted to celebrate my genre, promote my brand and build awareness of A Spy Like Me. So I asked a mix of authors and bloggers to guest post for three weeks.

Results?

  1. I had fun because I wanted to do it.
  2. My blog hits definitely went up.
  3. I helped celebrate and promote authors and bloggers I like.
  4. I introduced new authors and books to readers.
  5. I introduced readers to A Spy Like Me.

Goals accomplished.

Not to say I won’t do a traditional blog tour in the future. In fact, this fall when How To Survive Ancient Spells and Crazy Kings releases, I plan on organizing one.

What marketing strategies do you see that work or don’t work? How might you change it up?

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An Indelible’s Beach Bash with lots of books!

So I was chatting with my Indelible buddies one chilly afternoon and we realized that a bunch of us had new releases of novels, novelettes and short stories. So it didn’t take long for a promotional event to spring up.

Starting tomorrow (Monday), we’re holding a giveaway where you can win an ereader of your choice: Nook or Kindle.

But guess what? It will be loaded with the Indelible’s new releases! Woo hoo!

  1. Visit the Indelibles Website between May 21st-May25th. (Starts Monday)
  2. Follow the chain of links to each of the blogs on the hop.
  3. Collect the secret word from each blog.
  4. Submit the secret sentence for your chance to win.

I’m also announcing the re-release of The Almost Assassin: the short story prequel to my novel. It includes an excerpt of A Spy Like Me.

Summary: A teen attempts to follow in the family business but a beautiful “spy” may be his downfall making him The Almost Assassin.

This is my gift to all of you! Download any version from Smashwords for FREE!

(The story will be 99 cents on Amazon and Barnes and Noble until they price match.)

Good luck winning the ereader! And return here all this week for guest posts and giveaways from S.R. Johannes, Jennifer Hoffine, Becca Puglisi, and Gina Robinson!

My secret word is “on”. And the next stop is Lisa Nowak!

Party on! It’s almost summer!

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Getting sucked into social media? When to say no. When to say yes.

Knowing my book would be out in the big wide world caused me to really analyze and think about what I was doing. What worked? What was effective? There seems to be two different ways of thinking and of course everything in between.

On one side, there is the author who spends maybe 50% of her time promoting. The writer feels the pressure to join the latest thing (Pinterest anyone?) and to be current with all things social media.

On the other side, there is the author who chooses here and there what to join. I’m not saying one way is more right than the other. It’s a personal decision.

Before I decided to self publish, before I took this on as a business, I might have jumped on any one of the social media wagons. Because finding success in blogging and watching my numbers grow gave me that feeling of moving forward.

I thought for sure once I was on the publishing path, I’d feel the desire to promote more. But it’s almost had the opposite effect. I’ve realized that writing is king. And now that also means formatting, organizing blog series, writing guest blog posts. But I still want to spend as much time writing too. So I went down to blogging two days a week. I had to be selective.

I joined Google + but so far not really getting into it. I don’t see a lot of interaction. It’s like a different Google reader.

I created a Facebook Fan page.

But that’s it. I haven’t joined Triberr or Pinterest. Not because I don’t want to. I just don’t have time. Maybe after this first book is out? Maybe?

One thing I see to be true. Promotion doesn’t mean much without great product. And I’ve seen authors shoot through the charts and barely touch social media. So though I want to do my share of it and be available, I will be putting much more focus on the writing.

What do you think? Has your opinion on social media evolved at all?

photo credit

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A Spy Like Me sneak peek and cover reveal! And a giveaway!

Thanks so much for stopping by! Lots going on today.

So I finally picked a date! A Spy Like Me will be officially released on May 7th, 2012. Woo hoo!

Seventeen-year-old Savvy Bent expects magic on her first date with Malcolm – in Paris! Except over a picnic of sparkling cider and strawberry tarts, a sniper shoots at them. That’s only the beginning. From the top of the Eiffel Tower to the depths of the catacombs, Savvy must sneak, deceive, and spy to save her family and friends and figure out whether Malcolm is the one of the bad guys before she completely falls for him. Or he tries to snuff her out.

Heather McCorkle of CP Designs helped me with it! Check her out.

Here’s the sneak peek of A Spy Like Me:

[issuu width=420 height=272 backgroundColor=%23222222 documentId=120229204309-fcaec68c340847fdbb8277878bd9e7ad name=a_spy_like_mesample username=laura_pauling tag=fiction unit=px id=272bfc0a-6264-20bf-8ae5-0099829b1397 v=2]

Want to help out with the release of A Spy Like Me? And gain points for the giveaway too?

You can read a complimentary arc in exchange for an honest review or you can help on May 7th by posting the cover and blurb to your blog!

CLICK HERE FOR GOOGLE FORM.

What? You want to know what I’m giving away? Secret stuff, my friends, but I think I can trust you.

Pre-order of Pretty Crooked by Elisa Ludwig (Out March 15, 2012)


Ebook of Watched by Cindy M. Hogan

And here’s where to enter the giveaway! Open to the United States and Canada.

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