Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Do You Tweet?

At our current goal is to share our debut novel, The Wayward Gifted: Broken Point with potential readers. We're proud of our work, which is appropriate for adolescents as well as adults. It's a magical adventure; southern fiction in a coming of age novel about growth and discovery. We're thrilled with the reviews that have been posted on both and This is an exciting time for us. Being part of a Mother/Son writing team is satisfying. Mike and I did this together and now we have this book that we both love. 

Busy working on our second book in the Wayward Gifted series -- Grey's Case, we're also spending a great deal of time working to find our audience for Broken Point. We meet new people every day and are continually learning new things and trying out new ideas. I love it when something we do makes sense and we can watch as things fall into place. It's time consuming work, and easy now to understand why many people stop trying to find their place with readers. Some days are discouraging. I'm not certain about social media, yet I continue working in that direction.

I'm thankful for the opportunity to write. I'm also thankful for the time to work on marketing. 
My desire to learn about marketing and social media has led me to several books over the past few months. No doubt I spend too much time multi-tasking at my computer; Kindle in hand, toggling between a book and Twitter.  Today is tough. I'm in a giant fog. I'm tired, and experiencing information overload. I'm feeling a bit like the guy in the old donut commercial video at the top of the page. I'm not feeling like reading anything more tonight. Instead, I think I'll just talk about some of the books I've read this past month.

Here's a list:

1001 Ways to Market Your Books by John Kremer - This book was recommended to me by Dr. Carol Dunitz, playwright, lyricist, composer and lead of "Bernhardt on Broadway." This book is not available for Kindle. It's huge. The difficult part is culling through seven hundred pages of ideas. Using every idea in the book would probably take the rest of my life, so I've not read this one from start to finish. I'm using it as a reference. The table of contents is eleven pages! There is a little fluffy stuff in the beginning, but most of the book gets to the point. Although I believe there are a number of ideas that may be outdated, I also believe there are many more that make buying this book a good choice. One idea that I'll pass along here is "become a joiner." John Kremer recommends joining one or more trade association for the book industry.

APE Author, Publisher, Entrepreneur - How to Publish a Book by Guy Kawasaki and Shawn Welch - My husband told me about this book after he heard an interview with Guy Kawasaki. This is a good book. It was helpful for us as self-publishing newbies who didn't know what to do. Filled with practical information that's easy to follow, it was a little fluffy in the beginning. I am finding that seems to be the rule with these types of book. I lost a couple of days trying to teach myself how to use a recommended software program only to find that Word for Mac was fine for our formatting needs. This book is loaded with practical source links. If nothing else it's worth the purchase for that reason.

Amazon Kindle Sales Secrets Exposed! The 7 Tips Every Amazon Kindle Author Needs to Know that Amazon Doesn't want you to know by Michael Thomas. This book has a lot of information that explains SEO strategies and key word selection. I'm rereading it now.

Create a Sales Page For Your Kindle Book - How to Skyrocket Your Sales Using Author Central Secret Tips by Stijn B. This is a quick read with information to help you make your Amazon author page stand out. I'm a little shy when it comes to adding code and have not tried any of the tricks as of yet, but I do plan to see how they work. I'll come back at a later time and let you know how it goes.
Here's a link to each of our current Amazon author pages. Donna Childree. Mike L. Hopper

How I Made Over $42,000 in 1 Month Selling My Kindle eBooks by Cheryl Kaye Tardif
This is another very quick read. I wish I had read it before we scheduled our free Kindle promotion days. Cheryl gives practical advice about how to make the most of your free days on Kindle.

Make a Killing on Kindle - The Guerilla Marketer's Guid to Selling Your Ebooks on Amazon by Michael Alvear. This book shook me up. Mr. Alvear says that social media is unnecessary and a waste of time. As an author who spends a lot of time building relationships on Twitter I found this upsetting. He says that you can implement his strategy in 18 hours and sums it up in three words: Attract. Engage. Convert. He's rocking the boat with this book but the content is interesting. I think it's an important read.

Secrets to Ebook Publishing Success - How to Reach More Readers by Mark Coker.
Mr. Coker has a number of interesting ideas. He also talks about SEO, meta data, and working within the system. This is a Smashwords book.

Smashwords Book Marketing Guide - How to market your book by Mark Coker.
This book seems to have a lot of the same information that is found in Secrets to Ebook Publishing Success.  I would recommend buying one or the other.

Social Media Marketing for Publishers from I read this one after reading Michael Alvear's book and found my head spinning. This book, as the title suggests, is about social media and the importance of building a brand. One of the best hints from the book is that you should always "think search engine optimisation when writing your blog post." He recommends that you "try and stack your posts with them."

Thanks for joining us. We're glad you are here.
More soon,
Donna and Mike

Because we each have to find our own way... 
The Wayward Gifted: Broken Point 

A coming of age story loaded with angst & adventure
For adolescents through adults.