Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Author! Sell Yourself!

I've recently read a lot of blogposts regarding self-publishing. Nathan Bransford's blog is a great resource for all things related to publishing, including epublishing info. This evening I read a terrific article about Amanda Hocking and what's in her immediate future. In case you're not familiar with Amanda, she's become a millionaire by self-publishing.

So, rather than simply paraphrase the article, I'm going to give you a LINK so you can read it yourself. I think you'll enjoy it.

Also, along the same line, here's another great article that shows exactly where the eBook buyers live. I was a bit surprised by the numbers. Check it out HERE.

If you've jumped into the self-publishing arena, leave a comment and tell us about your journey.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Pick a Book

In the post below, 15 authors provided links to their published books. Actually, there were 16, but I'm taking my link out of this competition. If you're a writer, you've always been told how important reading is. So here's a great opportunity to read the work of one of these authors. If you look at the right sidebar you'll see a poll containing their names. The order they appear in is based on nothing but the alphabet.

So, here's what I'd like you to do. Visit the previous post and click on each name in the Linky list. Each of those links will take you to a site where you can get more info about that author's work. After you've visited all of them and learned a little about the great stories, it's time for a decision. The question is:Which book would you like to read? Which book would you like to write a review for?

When you make that decision, simply go to the poll and vote for your choice. Naturally, if you'd like to purchase and review the book you voted for, well, that's fantastic! And I hope everyone does that. But here's a request, and the real reason for this post. When the results are posted, purchase a copy of the winning book and write a review on it. I'm certain the author will thank you for your generosity and your help.

The poll begins now and will end a week from today at midnight Central Time on Sunday, April 3rd, 2011.

Your Books - Redux

I'm moving this post up today so we can get a few more authors listed. I've received emails that this was a good idea, so let's keep it going. If you agree that it's a good idea, you can always help spread the word. It's all about getting the word out and making everyone aware of what's available.

If you've published a book, either in printed form or in a digital format for Kindle or Nook or whatever, just add your link to the list below. You can list your name or the book title, or both, but be sure to put the correct link in so we can get to it and see what you've created.

NOW HERE'S THE IMPORTANT PART: Be sure to get your listing in before 6:00 pm Central Time. At that point, I'm going to create a new poll of the listings. We're going to use those for a new feature which is going to be even more exciting. It's going to be so exciting, in fact, that I know you're going to love it. So be sure to check back later today and see what's going on. Have I piqued your interest? The important thing right now is to create your link. So just do it!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Tale of Two Hearts Trailer - Redux

I revised this a bit. I wasn't crazy about the way it looked. Hope this is a better version. Let me know what you think.

Amazon Quarter-Finalists

The news came out today!

I received an email from Amazon announcing the selection of the Amazon Breakthrough Novel quarter-finalists. I hurriedly clicked on the link to get to the page and look at the names. I scrolled down . . . and . . . no . . . it wasn't there. (Big sigh.) So, just so everyone knows, my story has been eliminated from the competition.

But I'm hoping yours hasn't been. If you're still in the running, leave a comment and let us know so we can root for you! If you've made it to this point, you've done great! We want to hear about it.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Amazon Breakthrough Novel Update

Today is March 21st, and in just a few hours it will be March 22nd. Funny how that works out that way every year. Anyway, any writer who has entered the Amazon Breakthrough Novel competition knows what that date means. It's the whittling down of the 1,000 entries to half their size - leaving only 500 contestants in the running.

Check back tomorrow and see if there's any news from this writer regarding how he fared. If you're still in the running, I wish you well. Leave a comment if you'd like.

Good luck to all, and to all a good night!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

A Pre-Release Opportunity!


There is a great offer buried in the copy below, but before we get to that, I'd like to hopefully whet your appetite. If you click the arrow on the video graphic above, you can enjoy the book trailer for A Tale of Two Hearts. It's only 1:09 in duration, but don't forget to crank up the volume, because the audio track is dramatic.

I spent some time creating this today (not too much, actually) using iMovie. That program is relatively easy, although there are some limitations on what you can produce. Being a bit of a perfectionist, I'm not overly impressed with the capabilities or the final result, but it will work for the time being. Or at least until some visionary agent or creative publisher sends me an email or leaves a comment indicating their desire to represent or publish it. I'm listening.

I hope you enjoy my efforts on this a/v production. Let me know what you think. If you have any questions on the procedure for creating a trailer like this, let me know by commenting. I made another trailer a few months ago for another book (unpublished at the present time) using Windows Movie Maker. It has a different collection of tools and effects than iMovie, but either one is fun to use and can give you something to start with.

Now for the sales pitch: As you may know, the release date for this book is scheduled for April 14th. Since most experts encourage authors to start early on creating a buzz and a marketing plan, I've decided to offer the book at a discount from now until the release date. If you'd like to read the book, give itas agift to your middle grade reader, and save a little money in the process, just keep reading.

Clicking the link below will take you to PayPal where you can order the book. It's priced at only $9.95 plus shipping. And, by ordering it prior to the release date, you get a Special Bonus. The author will personally sign it! Now there's an incentive. It could be worth a fortune in the future—a signed first edition! Wow!

Click the button and get your very own, signed, pre-release first edition copy of

A Tale of Two Hearts by Cornell DeVille
Book One in Treasure of Morro Bay trilogy.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Amazon Breakthrough Novel

Only four days until the next cut. If you've entered the Amazon Breakthrough Novel competition, and if you've made the first cut, you'll find out next Tuesday whether you're still in the running. How exciting! But we hate waiting and not knowing, don't we?

I'm counting my lucky stars that I was included in the first 1,000 to move on to the next stage. I know some of my dear readers are in that same group. Congratulations to those of you who are. And best of luck on the next stage.

If you're in the competition, leave a comment and let us know so we can root for you. You might want to include your title, the genre, a general idea of the story, and what you plan on doing if you don't make the next cut. (Nothing gory, no wrist slitting or anything like that, okay?)

Also, tomorrow I'm going to post another item regarding marketing and social networking. I hope to hear from some of you regarding what you've done, what's worked, and what hasn't. But that's for later. At the present, tell us about your Amazon Breakthrough Novel experience.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Get Klout and Get on With it.

My friend Nathan Bransford has a great blog post today. So great, in fact, that I wanted to mention the same subject for those of you who don't read Nathan's blog. It involves marketing and how social networking has become a vital part of that undertaking. Whether you're a published author or about to become one, even a self-published one, you need to not only think about social networking, but get started doing it. Now. It's how your following is created and maintained.

Obviously, the most commonly used social media venues today include Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Those three should definitely be on your short list of networks to expand. If you're already active on those, and if you'd like to check and see how successful you are so far, go to Klout.com or Peerindex.com. These two sites will give you a rating based on various factors of your social media activity.

I just checked my scores: Klout = 32. Peer Index = 19. I'm going to have to work on both of those numbers in order to create the following I need.

Feel free to leave a comment with any suggestions on what you have done to increase your social marketing status. We'd love to hear about it.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Book Trailer Draft

Here's a draft of the trailer for A Tale of Two Hearts. It's currently being revised to include the release date of April 14th. I hope you enjoy it.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Star Wishes

First of all, if you have "friended" me on Facebook, thank you for that.

Secondly, those of you who are my "friends" have probably read my comments regarding the soon-to-be-released paperback version of a previously unpublished work—Star Wishes.

In case you haven't guessed, this is one of my favorite stories, and one for which I've been hoping to find a publisher or agent—with no success—even after performing my mandatory query mailings. So, I have fdecided to go ahead and publish it myself.

The fact that I'm the author is not the reason that the story is a good one and worthy of being published. It's just coincidental. But, since everyone else has so far failed to see the potential value in it, and I alone have perceived its worth, I'm going to take on the personal responsibility and the expense of publishing it. I really think it's worthy of seeing the light of day as a published book, and I feel it's a touching story that a lot of young readers will enjoy and pass along to their friends.

But, as with every undertaking, there are always decisions to be made. First of all, when should it be released? It's a Christmas tale. It begins on December 17th when Holly Starr finds the mysterious golden box under the holly bush. That's the day that everything changes.

So we have something of a dilemma on our hands. It's not even spring yet, and the book is ready for release. The question is, should I release it now, or wait until Thanksgiving to make it available so that customers can order it and have it in their hands in December, when the story actually takes place? The latter seems more logical. In fact, it doesn't seem very appropriate or likely that a story revolving around the Christmas holidays would be purchased and read in spring or summer. But I could be totally off base with this idea.

I would enjoy reading your thoughts on this. Meanwhile, if you noticed the graphic at the beginning of this post, you may have found that it's different from the previously posted version. I've changed the background to a Christmas red, since it's a Christmas story. Seemed more appropriate than black, although there are a few black moments in the plot as Holly tries to figure out what to do with her three wishes.

I would love to read your comments.

Keep writing. We'll get it figured out eventually.