Getting the Most from Social Media

Use social media to get the most out of your book release.

Brass Legionnaire drops this May! Check out the website at http://www.brasslegionnaire.com.


Greetings all!

It’s been a busy week. As a teacher, this time of year is always hectic with the myriad of responsibilities and in-school required activities that fight with your goal of teaching as much as possible until the end of the school year. Roughly 25 days give or take, but who is counting?! Anyways, onwards and upwards!

On the book front, I received the preliminary formatting for Brass Legionnaire and

noticed they forgot to put in a ‘social media’ page. This is a great addition Must Have for any ebook. It is especially important that you put it right at the end of the book. Why do you ask? Well, after you’ve poured all that time and effort into writing such a engaging, interesting, and thought provoking book, don’t you want people to simply read and forget now, do you? Provide a handy page with all of your social media information – FacebookTwitterGoodreads – (Anything else!?) plus the locations of your website/blog if the same or different.

Image representing MailChimp as depicted in Cr...
Image via CrunchBase

Some authors use a subscription based service such as MailChimp to get readers as well. As I’ve also got a subscription component of the blog, I’m not sure if that’s quite what I want to do yet, but I’m probably going to set one up before the book drops.

Speaking of that, have you been promoting your book? Have you released a sample chapter of your story (Check out mine – you won’t be disappointed!) and started tweeting, facebooking, and generally talking up your book? This is the hardest for me. I’m someone who is generally talkative, but I feel almost embarrassed explaining the backstory of my novel. It’s not that I’m embarrassed by the book or the writing or the content, but rather that I don’t want it to sound boring, nor too wild, for the average person who asks me (That and the people who ask about it at work aren’t my book’s target audience!)

Another point – pick your audience and figure out how to reach them. I’ve got some free vouchers for use in google adsense and on facebook for my book, so I’ll look around for the groups and ages that are in my target range – young adults, 16-30, as well as older sci-fi and alternate history fans, and target the ads there. I’ll also look at fans of authors who write alternative history novels or steampunk novels, such as Harry Turtledove, S.M. Stirling, Cherie Priest, and others, whose audiences are similar to mine.

Finally, scope out some book blogs that may be willing to feature your book or review it pre-release. It takes some time for book reviews to happen, so doing this when your book is finished, but just awaiting minor things – formatting, cover art, etc – lets their reviews match your release date. You can also set up a discussion board at goodreads to give away a book or two for promotional purposes/review getting purposes!

Brass Legionnaire drops this May, 2012. Check out the book website for more information at www.brasslegionnaire.com

10 Things to do Before Publishing Your Novel (Besides Editing)

10 things every aspiring author should do before their book comes back from editing!


Hello all!

So it’s been about 4 weeks now since I sent Brass Legionnaire off to the editor. I’ll admit freely, once it was out of my hands, I sort of… blanked. I was truly faced with a ‘now what’ type of situation. So for the last couple weeks I’ve been trying to tie up other loose ends that I figured I might as well get done now. So in my free time (My day job and graduate school keep me fairly busy, so that’s rare right now!) I put together a list of a few things that you can do while waiting for the book to come back.

1. Get some nice cover art (Mine was handled by the great people over at Streetlight Graphics, but you can also check out 99 designs or deviantart and post a job offer on either one.) Alternatively, if you’re a great artist or have a deft hand on photoshop, hunt down what you like and tweak it in the best ways. Great way to do it on the cheap if you need to.

2. Set up a personal author blog or website (Like this one) or perhaps even a website just for your book or series. However, don’t jump the gun too early. I have my entire website ready to go on Wix – a flash driven site that is really quick and simple to use – but I haven’t gone live yet because I feel a bit silly doing it without a product to show! Since I can’t do ‘preorders’ I’m simply holding off until the book goes live, then I’ll probably buy one of the smaller packages just so that I can get my domain name (and not have to worry about having other stuff in my URL), but I’ll save my money until then!

3. Set up a business/promotion plan – How will you promote your book? What will you do? Will you advertise? if so, where? Who is your specific target audience? What is best for them? Text ads, picture ads? You’re going to have to do some hard thinking on this one. Don’t limit yourself just to facebook or google. There are a variety of other sites out there that host ads, so find one that is more likely to be frequented by the people you are targeting!

4. Create a free audiobook sample of your first chapter. A lot of people offer a ‘free sample’ of their book to entice readers in. Even if you don’t plan on doing a full audiobook, a sample chapter (read by you, or someone you know whose voice is better!) can draw in a whole host of new people. Make it free on iTunes, put it up on YouTube. The more exposure, the more likely you are to rope someone in who is actually interested! Personally, I’d want to make it a full audiobook eventually, but in the meantime, it’s another cool way to build some hits.

5. In connection to that, create a book ‘trailer’ all you really need is some basic knowledge of iMovie or another video editing program and some effects and definitely your cover art. Alternatively, you can pay someone to make a (probably better) product, but it will cost you. For example, a basic book teaser at Circle of Seven productions will set you back a cool $800. But if you’ve got the money to spend…

6. Make some business cards/bookmarks. One of the most basic things to do is make a nice business card with your name, email address (not your phone number!) website, and title (you are a soon-to-be-Author!) along with a picture of your cover art. Don’t have cover art yet? Set it up except for that one part. Then it’s a simple copy and paste situation. You’ll probably want to use photoshop for this, but you can pay someone to do it. Personally, I like the control (And also screaming at my computer when photoshop goes wacky!) Then, it’s a quick upload to vistaprint or Zazzle. Be even fancier, add a QR code to the back and direct it to your website! Integration baby!

7. Set a reminder to copyright your book when it is done editing. No really, you need to remember to do this! Click here to find out more. You can also pre-register your book if it is in the process of editing to get a bit of a head start on the copyright process – Another chunk of money you need to shell out, but you don’t want people stealing your hard work now, do you? I’ll be honest though, I’m not sure if the pre-registration is a good deal. Readers?

8. Make sure you’ve got an account on Goodreads, Amazon, Smashwords, and anywhere else you plan on selling your book.

9. Make sure you’ve got a well-written synopsis for your various book pages and a good blurb or two for your front page or inside cover.

10. Write your bio, your acknowledgements, then sit back and wait!

Anything I forget? Please let me know! (Due credit where credit is due 🙂 )

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