I’m In The Deep End Swimming with The BOOK Sharks.

I’ve been around the block a time or two. I’m not saying I’m old, I’m just saying I’m not a newbie as far as Blogging Bloggers go. BUT And I do say a BIG BUT, I’ve never run into so much spam on a blog site before. WoW! I mean really spamosis spamity spam spam spam!

I’m not really here to complain about that, but it is troublesome. It totally detracts from my main purpose here. Which is to inform, entertain, and if necessary, insult and generally stir up some trouble.

I have to say I spend at least an hour wading through the shallow end of the pool of muck that’s filled with spam. My hubby suggested that I delete all comments, but every once in a while I come across a real live human being and I want to make sure their comments aren’t swallowed up in the slimy stinky spam.

And I digress again! Whew, now that that’s off my chest. I want to say if you are a budding, author and you are in search of that ever illusive book contract, literary agent, editor, marketing group, all or any of the above… Well, I’m here to tell you to pull on your big kid pants and hang on. I read the other day that over 3500 books are published every day. There are at least two million plus titles available on Amazon alone. That number may be on the shy side as well.

So, here’s my advice. Don’t give up…. Don’t get too discouraged, just keep at it. This is a business after all. Even if you landed that big agent and the big three or four publishing houses are beating a path to your door, you still have to be hands-on involved.

I’ve heard stories about people with agents who have found their own book deals only to have the agent take their cut. (15%). Then I read that the publishers offer you a signing deal (usually small) like $2000 -$3500. Then they turn around and ask you your marketing plan. Wow! That’s not what I was expecting.

Okay, so let’s be honest here, I would go gaga if I got called up to the majors! I would be in heaven dreaming of the interviews on the Today show. The Lifetime Movie contracts, the works. But UNTIL (not if) that happens, I’m going to have to work my buns off.

The moral to this story is DON’T STOP, DON”T GIVE IN! Never say die (and all of those other clichés you’ve heard.)

So, my wide-eyed optimistic friends… Write on! V

Okay So Why Do Writer’s Want Reviews?

Let me preface this by saying thank you. Thank you for all of you folks who’ve taken the time to read my newest book. “Cold Gray Dawn” YOU ARE AMAZING! About six weeks ago, I released my new fiction book on Amazon. I had a great weekend giveaway of 200+ books on http://www.kindle.com. I was so excited and blown away! I got messages from friends and friends of friends about how they couldn’t put the book down.

Whew! What a relief! After you put yourself out there, and ask for people to see your work, you honestly hope it’s good enough. I can’t tell you how many panic attacks I had that weekend waiting to see if anyone besides my family liked my book. Of course, I realize not everyone is going to love it. They may even hate it, that’s ok. I understand not everyone likes the same things. During all of the wonderful chaos I asked for reviews from my great fans/readers. I have to say, some of you went right to Amazon and left some glowing reviews. I do appreciate that! Then a week or so later, I gently reminded others that I would love your HONEST reviews.  I would only want the truth, nothing more, nothing less. I got a few more reviews. Thanks to all of you.

Now, the reviews have slowed to a trickle, so I asked myself why? Okay, so I understand your world doesn’t revolved around reviewing my book. (At least I hope it doesn’t). I also know that my book may not be at the top of your reading list. (Although I don’t know why) Just kidding. Then, my sweet hubby kindly pointed out to me, that maybe, just maybe it’s not as easy to figure out how to do a review on Amazon as I think. I have done several, so I forget how hard things can be if you’ve never done it before. So, after his advice, I decided to give folks step by step instructions on how to do the reviews I so crave. Also, I thought maybe I should let you know why these reviews are so so important to authors these days. (Especially indie authors).

In the new world of self-publishing and e-publishing things have changed so much that it’s unrecognizable to anyone who has ever been in the business prior to this time. People can literally write a book (booklet) in a weekend, throw it on the self-publishing website, or e-publishers and it will be available on Amazon within 12-24 hours. That’s not to say that it’s all quality stuff, in fact it’s probably just the opposite, but it is happening non the less. As a writer, this is both terrifying and exhilarating at the same time. All of our books/works are thrown into the giant pot and stirred up together. Sure, they have different genres and sub-genres and so on, but you are virtually competing for customers $$$$ and time altogether.

So, in this new world, without being famous, we have to be creative to get our books noticed. You have to do the “pre-launch phase” building up excitement for your book. Then comes the actual announcement that your book is available. I gave away my book over the course of a five day period (Kindle version only). I have to say that generated some great numbers.

Then there’s the period of time that you sit and wait… Wait for reviews, sales etc.

Now, in order to get those ever-illusive sales you have to have reviews. A person only has so many facebook and twitter followers. Eventually you need other people to buy your book.

In comes the review process. In Amazon.com there is some kind of big secret formula that generates where your book will be placed/ranked etc. So…. part of that whole thing has to do with keywords, google standings and…. you guessed it, REVIEWS on Amazon.

So, that’s why reviews are so important to authors, they drive folks to your book/book sales.

I will walk you step by step to get to the place where you can get those reviews done. Now, remember, I don’t want all five star reviews (unless that’s really what you thought about the book.) I want HONEST reviews.

Okay, here goes.

1. Log into your Amazon account. Here’s the link to http://www.amazon.com/.

2. Next type in my name in the search box “Vickie Knob”. My books will then appear on the page. “Cold Gray Dawn” should be at the top. Click on the bold title.

3. There should be a bigger picture of the cover of the book. On the right under the title, right under the author name is the line with the review stars, etc. Click on that yellow line.

4. This will bring up all of the reviews the book has to this point. To the right of the customer review stats are a group of five stars. It will say add your rating. Hover your mouse over each star to decide how many stars you want to give the book.

5. Once you choose a star, it will take you to the review page. It will ask you, “Do you want to add your own review?”

6. At that point…. go for it! It might say something about a verified purchase, but you don’t have to worry about that. That’s for their stats, not the authors.

So, that’s it! Sometimes they will prompt you to do a review without all of those steps, but that’s only after you’ve been reviewing several books.

I hope that clears things up, and now you can review books to your hearts content. I know that will help my heart be content.

Thanks for EVERYTHING you do

V

 

#FREEBOOKGIVEAWAY! GOODREADS!

Howdy friends and neighbors. I’m just here for a quick second to announce another giveaway of my book, “Cold Gray Dawn.” Starting at midnight tonight and going through August 15th. You can sign up on http:/www.goodreads.com to be one of five lucky winners. You must be a member of Goodreads to enter. It’s free to sign up.  Good luck and keep your eyes open (literally) for more chances to win a free, autographed copy of the book.

I’m serious, you just never know where a chance might come (see the box next to this post).

Thanks for all of your support.

Write on, V

The Next Wave of Campaign Hype is Coming Right Up

Ha! I bet you thought I was going political on you right? Nope. I’m not talking politics (thank goodness). I’m just letting you know about my next wave of book promotion.

I have to say, our Kindle giveaway was wildly successful! (Who says people don’t like free stuff anyway?)

So, the next phase is a print copy giveaway (autographed by the author) in http://www.GoodReads.com. If you don’t belong to Goodreads, I highly recommend it. It’s like a giant book club/book store all wrapped up in one. All you have to do is sign up, rate books you’ve read and they will give you recommendations. You can also sign up for FREE books too.

So here’ s a picture of my latest book. (So you will know it when you see it.) It’s by Vickie Knob THUMBNAIL_IMAGE

Or, since you’re already here. Sign up to win one of 10 autographed copies here. The winners will be announced around the middle of August.

So, my faithful friends… Read on, Review kindly and Race out and buy more books.

Peace, V

My Not So Subtle Book Announcement (New Release, Best Seller)

Hi Friends and Fans,

I announced earlier in the week that my new book “Cold Gray Dawn” was almost ready. Well, I will let you in on a little secret. IT’S ALREADY OUT! I decided to keep it quiet because I’m still looking for #1000truefans. Oh, and btw, I’m having a contest for the first 10 people who sign up here to receive an autographed copy! See the sign up on the right? Yep that’s the one.

Be one of the first ten and you will receive your own copy FREE FREE FREE!!!!!!

Here’s the link if you insist on paying….

https://tsw.createspace.com/title/4783623THUMBNAIL_IMAGE

Thanks so much for your indulgence in this!

Love ya! V

The Countdown for a New Book Release Begins #New Best Seller

I know the experts all tell you to put in keywords, like #newbook #aspiringauthor #bestseller #thriller #writer #romance

But I’m going to go against the flow and write how I want to.  #sellout, #yesman.

I’ve got something to say #buymybooks

And I don’t really care if I have any sales or not. #desperate #pleasebuymybook #starvingwriter.

I have studied the best way to get the word out on a book, #grovelonmyknees #beggingforsales

And the experts all say to create buzz instead of sales. #ifyoudon’tbuymybookwewillhavetoeatdirt. #livinginavandownbytheriver

They also recommend not bugging your friends and family for sales or reviews #Ineedreviews. #familybetterrevieworelse #wewillbemovinginwithyou #notevenkidding.

So, I just wanted to get the word out #screaming, #begging, #yelling, #hangingonyourlegs #followingyouaroundthehouseuntilyoudo.

My book is coming soon. #July1,2014 #kindlecountdown #lookingfor1000truefans.

Love you all, #ifyoubuymybookI’llloveyoumore #Iwillgetyouicecreamforwritingareview

#JUSTKIDDING #notreally.

#Peace #Thanks #V

Shamelessly Promoting My Own Book

I think this is the appropriate place to purposely, shamelessly, overtly and obnoxiously promote myself and my new book coming out. After all, I pay for this space, I can write whatever, whenever and however I want to.

So, here it goes. I will be releasing my newest book, “Cold Gray Dawn” around July 1st. I’m very excited, and nervous all at the same time. When I previously unleashed my books onto the public, I was so nervous I almost pulled the plug and cancelled.

I equated putting my books out there to sending your child to school for the first time. You want to show everyone what a wonderful child you’ve created, but then you aren’t sure you should leave them all alone out there without you to protect them.

All the typical things rush through your mind, What if they don’t like my brainchild? What if they ignore them, or worse yet criticize them for being weird, or lacking, or boring? What if they tell me they don’t want anymore of my children at their school?

The list goes on and on. There’s such an internal struggle between wanting to show the world your work, and worrying they will hate it. I’m told that most writers go through this very thing all of the time. Even the big names.

But I’m determined to get my words out there. I want to share them with someone other than my loving hubby and poor sister, (who both get stuck being my beta readers).

Please stay tuned for more information. I will share the link – price and all the details.

After that I will ask you for your honest reviews. It seems like there has to be an easier way, maybe if my name was Joan Grisham.

Until then, thank you for your loyal support.

To be continued….. V

Creating Buzz VS Selling Stuff

I’m so excited to be in the final stages of editing my first adult fiction book.

I’ve written two self-help books and an children’s fiction book, but this is my first in the big world of fiction.

This has been such a process. I’ve learned so much. Even in the last 6 months, I’ve gone light years past where I was just one year ago. I’m still learning more everyday.

The hardest part for me isn’t the writing. It’s the everything else. I have to be adept at creating a cover, designing the inside copy, editing, and now marketing.

I’m actually in the last stages of editing. My hubby and myself are doing most of the editing. (Due to lack of extra funds.)

We have a couple other projects in the works to fund this expensive hobby/career.

Here’s a picture of one of them. solar light

These are solar lights made out of mason jars. We are selling them to a local gift shop. We also starting an online business to make extra cash.

You might want to check it out at www.consultantsbyemail.com

So, when it comes down to it, they say not to push your books on your fans, just get them excited about it. So we have to sell other things to provide enough cash to promote my books, but whatever you do, don’t sell them.

WHAT? WHAT?

Yeah, it’s a mystery and I’m going to solve it. So, whatever you do, DON’T buy my book.

Yeah right! I will be published around the end of the month. (Don’t worry I will shamelessly push it at you.) So buy my book on Amazon.com “Cold, Gray Dawn” by Bess Peyton. READ IT, LOVE IT, and PLEASE, Review it. Oh, and tell all your friends to buy it too.

Thank you from the bottom of my shameless promoting heart.

V

Are Print Books Becoming Extinct Like the Dinasaurs?

I received an e-mail with a link this morning, and the article was about print vs. e-books. Although, I’m all for progress, and I have e-books myself, I felt a little sad.

I think it would be like if we ever went to flying machines vs. cars. I would feel a bit nostalgic and sad to see those go to.

Here is the link. http://www.suntimes.com/news/steinberg/27376605-452/paper-books-endure-but-value-on-the-decline.html#.U3Tllk1eFMv

Let me know what you think.

Peace, V

What difference Does it make if I Blog/Read/Write everyday?

Several years ago when I opened up my first blog site, I was so excited. Just to have someone (besides my family) to read my posts sent me over the moon.

After blogging (and now writing several books) I have been back to read my earlier work. I’m surprised at how poor my writing really was. It’s not that I’ve taken four years of college courses, or had ten mentors to guide my every step.

No, what I did do was to practice my skills everyday. At first when someone told me that, I scoffed. I thought no way could I write everyday and have it be in anyway useful, or meaningful.

I quickly got over that and decided that it wasn’t to create more content, but to hone my skills as a writer.

It’s like anything, the more you do it, the better you get. If you want to become a singer, sing, practice, and become a student of singing. What about a runner? No Olympic athlete has ever stood out in the middle of the track and just declared themselves a champion runner without the proper training, practice or competition to get to the ultimate games.

The same goes for writing. That is if you want to become a professional writer, then you must write. If you’re only writing your family history for your children and grandchildren to read, then it’s not quite as critical. On the other hand, I wouldn’t want  future generations to read my journals and think ,”Wow great-great grandma sure needed some help with her writing skills.

Even if you are just keeping a blog journal for yourself, when you push the “publish” button, it’s out there in the mighty blogosphere. You can delete it, but you can never, ever get it back.

So, my friends, if you want to be a writer/blogger/anything, please  write everyday. If you don’t you won’t ever get any better.

It may sound hard, or bothersome, or a pain, but you will notice how your skills will evolve over time.

Keep it up and Write on,

V