Thursday, November 14, 2013

How to Do an Automatic Tweet Campaign - Part 2

This article is continuing from Part 1, which pretty much covered some ideas about how to personalize your tweets and not sound like a stream of adverts and a small introduction to Hootsuite, including suggestions on how to start an account. If you don't know what Hootsuite is, be sure to check out the previous post.

How to Schedule a Tweet with Hootsuite

Even though you can schedule messages for the other social networking platforms, I'm just going to cover how to work with tweets for the purposes of this article. Most of this will apply to the other social network accounts.

Why would you schedule a single tweet? Or perhaps just a small handful? Perhaps your readers are in a different time zone and they're awaken when you're sleeping or driving home in rush-hour traffic. Perhaps you want a few timely messages to go out while you're at an event or at work. You could set up a small group of tweets to remind people of a seminar you'll be teaching and you want to be sure they're on time. Telling them to watch for a certain hashtag could alert them on their phones while you're getting ready to teach. Be creative! Here's how you would schedule a single message through Hootsuite:

How to Do an Automatic Tweet Campaign - Part 1

Sorry! Taking a quick break from converting eBooks to multiple formtas in favor of the upcoming Black Friday shopping event. Marketing is timing and I thought this would give people enough time to get their Tweet Campaigns ready for the biggest shopping day of the year! GO TEAM!

Twitter Works!

There is no doubt about it! Twitter is a great tool to help market your books by word of mouth. My friend Catherine Bybee SWEARS by Twitter because that's how her books gained recognition. Go check out her Amazon rankings and see how ultra successful she is!

She stated in a recent Twitter workshop, "People need to see your name 7 - 10 times before they'll buy your stuff!" And Twitter will help you do that! (*Arial clears her throat...* "Arial Burnz...Arial Burnz...")

I would also recommend you get Kristen Lamb's book Rise of the Machines: Human Authors in a Digital World where she shows authors how to leverage social media as a whole. What I show you here is only a part of what she touches upon in her bestselling book.

I hear some of you protesting, "I've already tried Twitter and it didn't work!" (Or you know a few authors who have and failed.)

Well, it depends on how you measure success. Read Kristen's book and she'll tell you how to do it right. But also take a closer look at what you/your author friends did. First, let's look at who is following you. Most authors have authors following them. We want READERS following us. Authors are great emotional and professional support, but let's face it...the vast majority of us don't buy or read other authors' books. We can't! We have our own books to write and we have TONS of author friends. Just how many books can we buy to support our multitude of friends before we go broke? Authors are not the pond in which you should be fishing. (More on finding and properly fishing in the Readers ponds in another article.)

Secondly, did you have a constant stream of BUY MY BOOK tweets? That can be a sure-fire way to cause many eye-rolling gestures with massive unfollows in your wake or many people ignoring you. It's just annoying, and you'll know what I mean if you watch the Twitter feeds.

In this series of articles, I'll not only show you how Tweet a little more personally, but do it more effectively without spending all day at the computer or on your smart phone. You'll be too busy checking your stats!

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

How to Convert Your Novel into Multiple eBook Formats - Part 1

Now that I've addressed the issue of To Self-Publish or Not to Self-Publish in the previous article, I'll tackle how to convert a novel to multiple eBook formats.

This is part 1 in a series where I give step-by-step instructions on how to convert your novel into multiple eBook formats. Here are the other parts to the series:
This series will cover how to convert an MS Word document to a PRC file, which is used by the Kindle. I will then show you how to convert that into multiple eBook formats, and even provide a few suggestions on how to use those files for promotion. For the author who already has an eBook file, skip to Part 2.

The article below is for the author who wishes to convert their MS Word Document to an eBook format for self-publishing purposes. OR how to convert any file to an eBook format. Click here to read a tip for promoting a series.

Here are the four "big picture" steps I take to convert an MS Word document to multiple eBook formats.
  1. Prep your MS Word Document for eBook consumption
  2. Convert the MS Word Document to a PRC file
  3. Import the PRC or other file into Calibre (actually pronounced cal-i-ber)
  4. Convert to any eBook format using Calibre


I am absolutely not advocating piracy or a method to take advantage of your publisher. You are responsible for the agreement you have with your publisher, so know this doesn't give you carte blanche to make as many formats of your book as you want and give them out free to the world if your publisher has specifically stated you can only give out 10 or whatever your contract says. Nor is this permission to take what eBooks you have written by other authors, convert them and e-mail them to your friends and family. PLEASE respect the rights and hard work of the authors and publishers who produce these eBooks for your reading pleasure. Piracy SUCKS!

To Self-Publish or Not to Self-Publish

I said I was going to post an article on how to convert your MS Word Document to any eBook format. However, as I started writing it, I thought some self-publishing topics deserved some facetime. "Should I self-publish?" is a question authors should answered first. If you're only here to learn how to convert a file your publisher gave you, then go ahead and skip to the next article: How to Convert Your Novel into Multiple eBook Formats

What it Takes to Self-Publish

Self-publishing is NOT easy and anyone who has done it can testify how much hard work goes into publishing your own book. If you have all the technical skills and resources to do it, you can publish your book with little-to-no upfront costs. However, keep in mind that the less you know technically, the more it will cost you because you'll have to pay someone to do what you cannot. If you're really good at bartering and have other skills to trade, you might work this in your favor to save money.

This article ONLY covers the technical aspect of publishing a book. Whether or not you sell your self-published novel depends on writing a good book to begin with, writing MORE books (never stop writing) and then marketing those books.

But how do you know if you CAN do at least do the technical part? I ask you the following questions:

Monday, November 11, 2013

How to Send Your eBook to the Kindle

Did you know that an eBook can be sent directly to the Kindle via e-mail? I know, right???? OMG what a convenience! *Arial grumbles at B&N for not getting with the program*

If you're an author and have a few beta readers who help you test out your novel before it gets published OR if you're a blogger and would love to receive ARCs and beta books from authors for reviews, this is a great option! It takes just a little bit of time to set up, but once you've done it, not only is it a breeze to do again, you only have to do it once per author/sender.

The instructions below are addressed to the person who owns the Kindle, so...
  • Authors - You can send your readers here for these instructions OR copy and paste them into an e-mail to send to your beta readers/bloggers who will be reviewing your book. And please Click to Tweet this page with your author friends to spread the word!
  • Book Reviewers/Beta Readers - Just follow the instructions and refer authors to this page or Click to Tweet and spread the word!

Don't Have a Kindle?

No prahhhhblem!!! (<---Chicago accent coming out) Amazon provides a FREE application you can download on your iPad, iPhone, Android phone, PC or Mac! Click here to get yours!

Once you've downloaded your app and registered it with your Amazon account, you can receive books via e-mail just like a regular Kindle device. Here's how!