Tag Archives: Goodreads

Hawking Your Wares

Early hot dog merchant,  1936 by Berenice Abbott courtesy EphemeralNewYork.wordpress.com

Early hot dog merchant, 1936 by Berenice Abbott courtesy http://EphemeralNewYork.wordpress.com

Yay! It’s official, I’m an author now!  I wrote a book or four, I had them edited, I covered them, and I had them published.  Now all I have to is sell enough of the darned things and that Hugo award is mine!

So how do we go about that?  There is the tiny problem of that old “getting your name out there” thing…I stink at that.

Roy Huff, author of the Everville series, regularly uses Goodreads to publicize his work. All his Goodreads connections received emails last week like this:

EVERVILLE Roy HuffRoy has modified the event Everville (#3) TheRiseofMallory 99 cent promo begins Midnight Pacific The First Pillar FREE KINDLE PROMO starts in 12 hours.
Date: April 14, 2014 04:22AM

Description: A new promo has begun. You can join that promo here https://www.goodreads.com/event/show/… feel free to invite others to join. Details are below as well. Thanks so much!

FREE KINDLE PROMO April 15 to April 18th for Everville The First Pillar http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00BCOQSSQ
FREE KINDLE PROMO April 19 to April 22th for Everville The City of Worms [InD’Tale Magazine’s Creme de la Cover March Winner] http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00EQZ5T2E

99 CENT KINDLE COUNTDOWN DEAL April 15 to April 21th for Everville The Rise of Mallory http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00HYN 3NXC

Stay tuned on Facebook @http://on.fb.me/1ni21BT
Stay tuned on Twitter @evervillefans 

Well, I don’t know about you, but that seems like a good promotion to me, and I will be quite interested to see how well things go for him with it. Roy has a lot of connections on Goodreads, and he puts a lot of energy into promoting his work, so maybe he will do well. He has given me something to think about, in regard to the whole giveaway thing. One reason I made Tales From the Dreamtime, which is a novella, into the first of my audiobooks was the hope that it would generate some recognition for my brand, which if you remember, is my Author Name.

Swartz_After Ilium_FrontCvr_200dpi_3inAnother author friend, Stephen Swartz, is promoting his works too. Today is Tax Day in the US, so he is running a twitter campaign:

4/15 TAX DAY SPECIAL! 2 Books! 2 Bucks! ‪#‎Kindle‬ ‪#‎romance‬ 
‪#‎AFTERILIUM‬  http://bit.ly/AfterIlium_US
‪#‎ABEAUTIFULCHILL‬  http://bit.ly/BeautifulChill_US

He didn’t know if Amazon UK will honor the discount, but here are the UK links:

AFTER ILIUM kindle http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B009SDW1KC
A BEAUTIFUL CHILL kindle http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00I6M4R9Y

I will also find out from him how well that went.

So, I am going to continue the way I have been, promoting via twitter. I have paid for a Goodreads ad for Huw the Bard, for the next two weeks or so and will let you know how well that went. I will also try the Goodreads promotion route in May, and will keep you posted on that.





Filed under Adventure, Books, Fantasy, Humor, Literature, Publishing, writer, writing

Strapping the Monkey to the Typewriter and Selling His Work

0000-9780857863782At times, creativity seems to fail. We’ve become bored with the work we’re doing and need some new thing to spark that creative genius lurking deep within our coffee-addled brains (or wine-soaked, as the case may be.) An infinite number of monkeys strapped to IBM Selectrics, industriously typing out Shakespeare could do better.

For myself, the way to beat this is to write something, anything–even if it doesn’t pertain to my major work in progress. The best part of being an indie is that you can write in whatever direction the mood takes you.

And that is how Huw the Bard  came about. I was supposed to be working on Forbidden Road, but I had become bogged down. NaNoWriMo came along and Huw grabbed me by the imagination and away we went.  This jump-started my mind on the other book too, so I wrote on both books for the next year. Forbidden Road was finished, edited and published in 2013

Now Huw the Bard has been published and I am working on Valley of Sorrows. In the meantime I have to find ways to publicize my work, and since we just acquired a hefty car payment, it must be affordable. (As in CHEAP.)

google plus iconIn other posts I have discussed the importance of getting Twitter, LinkedIn, Goodreads, Pinterest, Facebook and Google+ profiles created. You must also have your Author Central profile put together on Amazon and one for Smashwords, Barnes and Noble and any other major online place you sell your works.

Today, I want to say that Facebook is fun, and a great place for a free launch party. We had a great time with that, and I do think it helped sell books.  But you need a sustainable place to put your work, and Facebook is no longer that great a venue for selling books.  I’ve had better luck through blogging, if the truth be told.  My good friends helped get Huw the Bard off the ground with their blogs and tweets.

Also, Facebook won’t allow your posts to be seen by many people unless you pay them. They call it ‘Boosting’ the post. I have done that on occasion, and  for 30.00 I sold 3 books.  That is a terrible return on investment.

tsra-button-01I was directed by Aura Burrows, who writes the hit series, “The Cold” on www.BigWorldNework.com, to an interesting and free website run by a friend of hers. It is called The Story Reading Ape Blog and I have gone to the “contact me” page and followed the instructions. It is free, and Chris is awesome as a person–he is very sincere about helping indies get their work seen. I will keep you posted as to how that goes for me, and if you want to try it yourself, please feel free to click the link and go for it.

There are many venues–blog hops,  paid ads on Goodreads and Google–all of which I will be doing over the next year. Paid ads are tricky–the ones I can afford are not that big or prominent so perhaps they aren’t a good investment. However, there are many affordable indie book websites who will sell you ad space for $30.00 to $50.00 a whack–a sum that is doable for me if I give up Starbucks for my craft.

So now begins my real push to get my work out there–to make it visible so readers will see it and want to know what it’s about.  I have to push Tales From the Dreamtime as well as Huw the Bard, because I have that wonderful narrator, Craig Allen, depending on me to sell our audio-book! I’m selling a few books here and there, but I’ll be posting about which venues were most successful as the year progresses.

The real trick will be to get the work out in the public eye without spamming and alienating my friends.



Filed under Books, Epilepsy, Fantasy, Literature, Publishing, Uncategorized, writer, writing

Branding yourself day 5 – Goodreads and All Points Beyond

MH900432556One thing most authors do first is go out to http://www.goodreads.com and make a profile for themselves there, because all the online writing groups say you have to do that.   And everyone told you to get a blog, so you did these two things and still, nothing happened. So why did I leave these two important detail to the last day of my series?

Tools. You needed the tools to make these two venues as professional as is possible.

In the course of this week you have gathered together an arsenal of tools with which to make the best Goodreads profile you can. You are tweeting. You have your Author Photo. You have your Author Bio.  You have links to your about.me profile, you are LinkedIn and made a book trailer. You opened a Pinterest account and you posted a poem to Wattpad.  You just googled yourself, and you are still not on page one .  Have patience!  This is where we pull all these disparate threads together in ONE important, cohesive place:


Open your Goodreads author profile. If you haven’t already made one, do it now!

MH9004093851. Go to your Author Dashboard. If you never took the tutorial on how to effectively use Goodreads, do it now. It’s there for a reason.

2. Now look at your Bio – is it the concise, professional bio that you have used on ALL your other sites? This consistency is very important, although I am not sure why. When it comes to the internet, consistency is magic, and I’ve never really understood magic. It works, so just do it.

3. Does your blog link back to your profile page? I have the RSS feed for my book review blog, Best In Fantasy, link back there because Goodreads is a club for people who are passionate about books. This means my review blog updates there every time I make a new post, and I try to crank out at least one book review a week. The link to the blog you’re reading now, Life in the Realm of Fantasy is in my Bio.

4. Are all the  books you have written, or been a contributor to listed correctly?

5. Have you read and reviewed any books on Amazon or Barnes&Noble?  Re-post those reviews on Goodreads.  Reading and reviewing is what Goodreads is all about, so if you haven’t read anything lately, take the time to write a paragraph about Pride and Prejudice or whatever books you have read in the past that inspired you to write, and post it. Be serious, because these reviews are part of what  builds your profile stats.

When you are a member of Goodreads you will be invited to join many reading groups and you can get involved in a lot of discussions.  This can be very good, OR it can be very bad. Tread these waters carefully! I have seen several authors raked over the coals in a sort of feeding frenzy when they were frank in their opinion of a poorly written book by a Goodreads author with many loyal friends. This is why I stay out of many discussions. The reviews I post on Goodreads are of the books I reviewed on my book review blog.

There will be people who tell you that Goodreads is a waste of time, haunted by professional trolls and wannabes. There is some truth to this assertion, but it is true only BECAUSE so many people use it. My Goodreads profile is the first thing that comes up when my name is Googled, so I can assure you I am very careful about what discussions I get involved with there.

I believe you do yourself a great disservice if you fall into the habit of harshly criticizing others in public forums. Ask yourself what you want agents and editors to see when they Google your author name, and make sure your  behavior in public reflects that.

As a reader, I go to Goodreads to find great books written by indie authors, and I am rarely disappointed.

my goodreads stats

As you can see, my rating is quite average, and not really outstanding, but it is the FIRST link that appears on the Google search.  This is where people will click first to see who I am when I submit a query to agent. This is why you must make sure it is as professional as you can make it.


NOW–you noticed that number three on the above list mentions BLOGs.  In fact, every venue for you to publicize your author name offers you the opportunity to POST THE LINKS TO YOUR BLOG(S). If no one knows your blog is out there, how can they find it to read it?  Flog your blog all over the internet through the free, easy to use venues we have discussed this week! (This is not Spank the Monkey. That is something entirely different!)

If you have wondered why the blog that you never wanted but were pushed into starting has never done well, it may be that you haven’t promoted it.  Every venue that we have discussed this week gives you an opportunity to show the world that you take your craft  as an author seriously.

You do this by writing.

Update your blog once a week, three times a week, or daily–it’s up to you, but be disciplined and somewhat regular.  Normally I update this blog every other day, although this week I updated every day.  I spend about twenty minutes to half an hour writing it.  It is usually stream of consciousness, unless I have some particular topic that I want to speak on.

Your blog is the place where you  showcase your published work and offer buy links in the sidebars.  You can discuss the weather, the cat (I love indie author J.D.Hughes‘ posts on William the Cat.)

It’s through making use of the most cost-effective venues out there —>Twitter, Facebook, Wattpad, LinkedIn, About.me, Goodreads and your personal blog that you build your brand, your author name. It did involve some effort on my part for the first week or so when I was getting these venues up and running, but now they really maintain themselves.  All I do is write, blog and periodically check twitter. I am not even a fanatic about twitter–I use a free program called Hootsuite to schedule tweets for the week ahead, spending maybe 10 minutes on Sunday morning, and then I simply respond to tweets that interest me or thank people when they mention me.

I can’t say that I have made huge sales or become a best seller, because that hasn’t happened. I’ve only been officially doing this for 2 years, and I’ve made all sorts of newbie mistakes in the process. But the point is, I keep at it, and I keep my professional profile updated. If you want an agent or publisher to take you seriously in this new world you must take your own career seriously by presenting your name and your work in the best light possible.

In the new world of publishing, the internet (Google and other search engines) is your ‘Store Window.’ Your books are your ‘display’ in that store. Your name is the ‘brand’ that prospective searchers see. Am I branded like ‘Nike’ yet? No, but the late Robert Jordan is, and he mastered the internet thing in the mid 1990’s when his Wheel of Time series first went viral. By using the tools that are available to us we can achieve the best results possible.

One never knows what will convince a prospective reader to try your book, so offer them every opportunity that you can.

Thank you for sticking with me through this whole week of my take on marketing your name. Now go out there and build your brand, one brick at a time.


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Filed under Adventure, Books, Fantasy, Humor, Literature, writer, writing