Tuesday, July 22, 2014

How to Do an Automatic Tweet Campaign - Part 3

Hopefully, this will be the last in this series. I'm also hoping the headings of the articles make it easy for you to skip parts you might already know. Here are the other parts of the series if this is your first stop:

Creating Your First Campaign

I'll recap the 50,000 foot view mentioned in Part 1:
  1. Create a Hootsuite account (Hopefully, you've done this by now)
  2. Populate an MS Excel spreadsheet with your tweets (template below)
  3. Upload the spreadsheet into Hootsuite's Bulk Scheduler
  4. Sit back and relax, feeling accomplished *sigh*

Finding the Original Spreadsheet Template

As I stated, Hootsuite provides a template, and I'll show you how to get to that template. DO NOT follow these steps unless you're ready to actually start your 7-day trial. For now, just check out these screenshots and instructions. I have a modified spreadsheet you'll use instead (linked below).

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Twitter Hashtags and How To Use Them

Twitter Expert? Hardly!

(This is a republication of the article I posted on my reader blog.)

I'm going to state right up front...I am no Twitter expert. I will say, however, having just recently come to finally understand the concept of how Twitter works AND how other people use Twitter, I'm able to grasp the concept of how it can help me communicate with readers. With that said, if anyone else has anything they can add or correct me on, please leave comments. We can all be better at using this amazing social networking venue if we all pitch in.

Since I'm a fiction author, I'll be sharing this information from the perspective of novels and that portion of the publishing industry, so this article is probably more geared toward the fiction author who wants to learn how to use Twitter to get the word out about their novels, but the concepts covered here can be applied to almost anything, so read on. This article is long, but covers the following topics (click topic to go straight to it, BUT click the MORE button below if you're not in the actual article.):

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Self-Publishing Earns Authors More Money

Author Earnings
My friend and fellow author, Genella deGrey, shared a wonderful article called The 7k Report, written by Hugh Howey of Author Earnings. It's a long read, but WELL worth it. Go ahead. Go read the report. I'll wait. *Arial gets up and grabs a cup of coffee, peruses her e-mail and does a little marketing while she waits*

There! See? Very informative and pretty thorough = wonderful. There are two reasons I'm sharing this article, and I will thereby summarize the article for those who aren't ready to spend the time to read the entire entry:

  1. Actual Data - Finally, we authors can see a fairly reliable source of information that lets us know whether or not writing for ourselves is worth the plunge.
  2. Prove a Point - I have always touted to my author friends that traditional publishing is not worth anyone's time or effort unless the publisher is willing to do the work to sell your books for you. My explanation to follow.
Admittedly, today is a bit of a rant. Many representatives of the Big Five1 have been quoted as saying eBooks and self-publishing are killing the publishing industry2. At a minimum, many articles in general have been waving that colored banner rather vehemently. I will say such chatter has died down as of late, especially from the Big Five...but that's because everyone has definitely called, "Bullshit" on their claims. Wasn't it just last year that Amazon announced eBooks outsold print?? I'm just sayin'.

The article above illustrates just how much money publishers are making on the backs of authors. What has always burned me is how those publishers have complained like a whiny kids at a lemonade stand that their sales have dramatically declined and they blame eBooks and self-publishing. What specifically ticks me off is it's completely UNTRUE!!! Well...in all fairness, it was a twisted truth. Their PRINT sales dramatically declined. But while they were whining and wailing to the world about their woes, tons of money was coming in through the back door of their digital sales. Self-publishing didn't invent eBooks. It just made it more lucrative and accessible for the author. Publishers were already putting out their own eBooks. Self-publishing just made it a popular purchase.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

How to Convert Your Novel into Multiple eBook Formats - Part 4

This is part 4 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:
Calibre (pronounced cal-eh-ber) is a FREE eBook management program, which allows you to import eBook files, convert them to a different eBook format, and then transfer them to your eReader. For the purposes of this tutorial, we're looking to convert the PRC file you created in the previous post into the various formats you may need to promote your books. See the end of this tutorial for ideas on how to use these files for promotion.

If you don't already have the software installed on your computer, please visit their website and download the program suitable for your computer's operating system (e.g., Windows, Mac, Linux, etc.): http://calibre-ebook.com/

Once you've installed the software, follow these steps:

How to Convert Your Novel into Multiple eBook Formats - Part 3

This is part 3 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:
In the previous post, we covered how to prepare your novel to be converted into a PRC file. Below are the step-by-steps instructions on how to use Mobipocket eBook Creator. If you don't have this FREE program, be sure to visit the previous post for a link on where you can download it. On to the tutorial!

Step 3: Using Mobipocket eBook Creator

Be sure you've done the prep work in the previous post and installed Mobipocket eBook Creator before executing the following steps:

  1. Open Mobipocket Creator
  2. In the window that appears, go to the "Import From Existing File" section and click on "MS Word document"
    Figure 2

How to Convert Your Novel into Multiple eBook Formats - Part 2

This is part 2 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:
In the previous article, I gave an overview of formatting your eBook, then step-by-step instructions on how to convert your formatted MS Word document into a PRC file (used by the Kindle) with Mobipocket Creator.

As promised, I'll go over how to take that PRC file (or just about any unprotected/non-DRM file) into multiple eBook formats with the assistance of Calibre.

Formatting Your Book: Overview

In the self-publishing process, converting my novel into various eBook formats is usually one of the last steps I take. Prior to reaching this point, I've done the following: