What the heck? By now you’re feeling like Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz.
Well, today we are going to talk about ways to get the work you have sitting on your desk OUT and into the hands of prospective readers. One of the most surprising and random of these venues is Pinterest! And yet, it has been incredibly useful in attracting readers to this blog. And, lets be real, NOTHING is easier than setting up a Pinterest account and getting started there.
What is this Pinterest thing I keep talking about? It’s like a scrap-booking site for things you find on the web. You ‘PIN’ things you come across on the web and then your followers can repin them if they are as pleased with it as you are.
According to Wikipedia, the Fount of All Knowledge: Pinterest is a pinboard-style photo sharing website that allows users to create and manage theme-based image collections such as events, interests, hobbies, and more. Users can browse other pinboards for inspiration, ‘re-pin’ images to their own pinboards, or ‘like’ photos. The site was founded by Ben Silbermann (of West Des Moines, Iowa), Paul Sciarra, and Evan Sharp, the site is managed by Cold Brew Labs and funded by a small group of entrepreneurs and inventors.
SO what does this have to do with your career as an author? I don’t know, exactly. But it works! I think the value is in the connections you make through pinning an re-pinning things that interest you. These things represent your interests, i.e. motorcycles, collecting silver tea-strainers, BOOKS, anything!
I have two boards: Writers’ Paradise and Vegan and Loving It (Mostly). AT the top of the page, you will see my bio, and the link to one of my books. I need to change that so that the link comes back to this blog. You only get 160 characters to write your bio with, so use them wisely.
Quote from Pinterest’s help page: A pin starts with an image or video you add to Pinterest. You can add a pin from a website using the Pin It bookmarklet or upload an image right from your computer. Any pin on Pinterest can be repinned, and all pins link back to their source.
The important thing here is the part about ALL pins linking back to their source. My Pinterest boards are located at: http://pinterest.com/cjjasp/
Now we are going out to something called Wattpad: FROM WIKIPEDIA:
Wattpad describes itself as “the best place to discover and share stories.” It’s a YouTube for electronic text stories. The content includes work by undiscovered and published writers. Delivery emphasizes the mobile phone platform, using the free Freda ebook reader. According to Wattpad founder and CEO Ivan Yuen, “marketers can currently upload material for reading by mobile users at no charge”.
About nine in 10 users are readers rather than writers. Around four in ten users are U.S. based; traffic also comes from the U.K., Canada, the Philippines, Australia, and more. Approximately 75 percent of users access the site through their mobile device. 
The most popular genres on Wattpad.com and the Wattpad mobile app include Romance, Paranormal, and Fan Fiction. The site is also home to Poetry, Humor, Science Fiction, Thriller, and others.
Get a Wattpad account and start posting short stories and poems that reflect your best work. I now have three short stories out there, and plan to post one a month for this next year. I have a bunch hanging around that just need a bit of polishing. I may serialize a novel there.
The first thing to know is that your User Name should be your Author Name with no spaces, as ALL your work is published on Wattpad under that name. Mine is ConnieJJasperson. This is a GREAT venue to develop a fan base. Indie Author Shaun Allan published his book, Sin, one chapter at a time on Wattpad and in the space of one month he had over 289,000 reads!
24 parts / 127 pages, updated Feb 15, 2013
Dead, dead, dead. Say it enough times and it becomes just another word. What would you do? Could you kill a killer? Does the death of one appease the deaths of a hundred? What about that hundred against a thousand? What if you had no choice? M… read more
289,069 reads 647 99
Do I have to say any more? I didn’t think so.
You Tube – why would I even mention this? Well, you may not have noticed this, but I have several ‘book trailers’ in the sidebar of my blog. These are short, 60 second or so, commercials for my books; teasers. if you will. The purpose is to give prospective readers an idea of what to expect if they buy one of my books. The links to them go in your sidebar on you blog, on your Goodreads Profile, and your Amazon Author Page. I have no data available to say if they work or not as far as generating sales go, but they may. A person who is interested enough to click on this link is wondering about your book and if you have that one little foot in the door, why not take advantage of it?
Book Trailers aren’t a requirement, but they are fun to make, and they cost me nothing. I get the music for free from my daughter, Meg Clear who is a fabulous musician, or from Free Music For Videos which I make a voluntary donation to for the use of their music. Donations are not required, but I like to support the artists. (See their link in my side-bar to make your own donation.)
Many people say trailers do no good, but when fans of Meg Clear Google her, what comes up as the number one listing on page one of her Google profile? The very first trailer for The Last Good Knight that I made when I was with my former publisher. That version of the book is unavailable now, because it has been completely re edited and redone under Myrddin Publishing Group. But the title of MY book and MY author name are out there under HER page, and we BOTH benefit from this. As someone once said, all publicity is good publicity, and while I don’t believe that to be true in all cases, I will take the advertisement and be grateful.
I make my trailers using Windows Live Movie Maker, and using Free Public Domain images, and Royalty Free Music and Free and Royalty Free Images from Dreamstime.com. Dreamstime is inexpensive, which is the keyword for me, and you have a great record of the legal work for your own files.
It does take some time and research to locate images and music that 1. reflect what you want to say about your book and 2. Are LEGALLY available for your use (and I suggest you keep a file for each trailer with both digital and hard copies all the legal use provisions for each image and song used).
Make a short script using the blurb from the back of your book, keep it down to 30 or 60 seconds and voila! You’re a producer!
If you don’t want to deal with Windows Live Movie Maker (which is a hinky program at best,) a GREAT site for doing thisfor free or very cheaply is called ANIMOTO. Many authors go to this site for affordable trailers for their websites.
So–that’s it for today. Tomorrow we will take on GOODREADS. Your Goodreads profile is the cornerstone of your brand and, outside of blogging regularly, building that profile is the single most important thing the indie author can do for themselves.