Promo Sites

12_Angels_Publishing_2

One of the things that indie authors/publishers are constantly on the look out for are promo sites. I recently ran a promo and found out there are soooo many sites out there. Some offer free promo opportunities, while others only post for paid advert.

The problem is, it’s hard to tell which sites are good and will actually give you positive results vs. the ones that just look good, but don’t do much to add to your campaign.

I’m certainly not the expert in marketing and promotions. This is the great big aspect of self publishing that has scared the bajeebies out of me. I’ve stayed away from it cause I didn’t want to deal with. LOL!

Good news is that it didn’t kill me. LOL! Even better news is that I’m learning and some things that have always bothered me or confused me are finally making some sense. There’s still A LOT to learn, but I’m on my way. (Have I ever mentioned, I’m a bit hard headed?) I should have done this a long time ago, but it’s never too late to start.

I wanted to share the sites where I posted. Hope this is helpful for you too:

BKnights at Fiverr.com — This by far got the best results. For $5.00 it’s hard to beat.

Psymon at Fiverr.com — This was okay. Not as good as BKnights, but still okay. ($5.00) I would buy this gig again.

Bookzio — I wasn’t impressed, but I know of other authors who have had great results with this site. ($19.00). Maybe if it was cheaper? I dunno.

SweetFreeBooks — This was okay too. I would use them again. ($5.00)

Ebookasaurus — I’m kind of on the fence, but it was only $10.00. I may use again.

Pretty-Hot –$15.00 with a coupon. The site looks great and I expected to get more downloads, but I didn’t. Funny thing is the download rates weren’t great, but the customer service was really good.

KindleBookReview — I did the $5.00 option. They have several packages to choose from. Again, great looking site and I thought I would get more downloads, but I didn’t. They also have a section to submit a review request. That’s free. I submitted, but haven’t heard back anything, so I’m guessing none of the reviewers are interested in the submission. Eh… looking for reviews that’s a whole other beast to tackle.

LovelyBookPromotion — This was a FREE submission 🙂 We got a good amount of downloads. This site also has a review request section. I submitted for a review here also, so far no response yet either.

Lesson? Running the promotions for the first two weeks during October (2015) boosted the book’s ranking at Amazon. The book actually hovered in the top 5 of its categories for a few days 🙂 We also got a decent amount of downloads and a few sign-ups. All in all, it was a positive campaign.

Was it perfect? LOL! Not even close. But that’s the beauty of it, even in its imperfection, it was still positive and met the goals we set for the campaign.

If you haven’t dipped your toe in the marketing pool… try it. You can take baby steps like I did and see what happens. Don’t expect fame and fortune with your first try. Be realistic and be open to the lessons. Be able to step back from what you did and look at your efforts in an objective way, but most of all, don’t get discouraged. Keep trying and see what works for you.

 

Create a book trailer for free

12_Angels_Publishing_1One of the best things that I’ve learned how to do since becoming an author is to make my own book trailers.

Granted, my book trailers are not fancy like what  professional productions can create, but my trailers are decent. And best of all, I have a lot of fun creating them!

So, I’ve made about four of them for 12 Angels Publishing. The first trailer I made for Spirit 101, I did spend some money for pictures, but that was before I learned to scour the net for FREE stuff!

With a little patience and some imagination, you can create a book trailer too for very little to zero money.  For those of us creatives that have not yet figured out how to make money from our trade, free is always good!

I’ve listed the resources and tools I use below.  If you’d like to see what 12 Angels Publishing book trailers look like, please go visit my channel on You Tube.  I used my blue logo for this post, since that’s the same pic I’m using for the You Tube channel.

Click here for my channel 🙂

I have a PC with a Windows based operating system.  My PC came with Windows Movie Maker and this is what I use to put together the trailers. It’s super easy to use.  If I can figure it out, anyone can.  It doesn’t have a lot of bells and whistles, but there’s enough effects included to give you variety from project to project.

If you don’t have Windows Movie Maker, here’s a link you can check out. Windows Movie Maker.  Remember read the descriptions first and make sure it’s something that your PC can handle and pay attention to your PC’s security and firewalls before you download. I can’t guarantee safety of any of these downloads, I simply want to show you where you might find them for free.

For free stock pictures:

For free stock video:

For free royalty free music:

This list is not all inclusive and there are more free sites out there. Make sure you read the licensing rights and understand what kind of credits need to be given.  For me, I like to go ahead and include the artist names and/or website names of the sites I used to get my material.  I don’t mind giving credit where credit is due.

Again, I cannot guarantee any of these sites and I have no affiliation with any of them. I just happen to have found them and thankful that there are generous folks out there willing to share their work for free.

Here are the steps I take to create book trailer.  You might develop a different process and that’s ok too! Do what’s fun for you 🙂

  • I pick which book to create a trailer for. I know, obvious right?
  • Decide what kind of feel you want for the trailer — serious, dark, happy, whimsical.
  • Choose your pictures, images, and videos according to the feel you want to convey. Pick relevant images. I know, obvious — again 🙂
  • Choose your music according to the feel you want to convey
  • Arrange the order of your images. There’s lots of flexibility with this — you can always move them around in Windows Movie Maker.
  • Draft some text or caption that you want to include in the trailer.
  • Decide where you want those captions to show in the trailer
  • If you’re really savvy, choose SEO rich words to use. I don’t worry so much about this (at least not right now). I just want to have fun creating 🙂
  • Layer all your content together in Windows Movie Maker and then decide on the transitions and special effects that might smooth out your presentation and give it some “ooh-ahh” moments.
  • Have fun!

 

Author Interview–Holly M. Kothe

Books, Blogs, and Bits

is proud to present:

HOLLY M. KOTHE!

Snapshot_20130601Holly M. Kothe is a freelance short story writer and novelist from Cincinnati, Ohio. She holds a BA in English and Creative Writing from Southern New Hampshire University and works as an editor for The Oddville Press.

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BB & B: What inspired you to create Sweet Violent Femmes?

Holly: The whole thing came together over time. I never planned to put short stories into a collection, but the more I wrote, the more I noticed an ongoing theme of dark, twisted payback with a feminine slant. The first story, “The Glass Room,” was the only one exclusively written for the Sweet Violent Femmes collection, and it also happens to be my favorite.

BB & B: All the stories in this collection has a reason for why the heroine of the story resorts to what she does, but which of the short stories in Sweet Violent Femmes affects you the most?  Why?

Holly: Probably “Tethered.” It is the only story with a paranormal element, and it deals with a lot of real life issues that affect me way more than I’d care to admit. There’s true love gone sour, infidelity, death, the afterlife—oh, and the selfish nature of womanizing men (creative gold for me).

 BB & B: To what extent do your characters remind you of yourself or someone you know?

 Holly: To a large extent, I think. The percentage of real-life vs. art is a constantly changing one. I couldn’t tell you how much is true, and how much is imagination. I use myself as a model for a lot of my characters, then I’ll throw in quirks that are the complete opposite of me…working as a prostitute in Paris, for example.

BB & B: What research did you have to perform for Sweet Violent Femmes? SVF COVER PHOTOWas there any research which really opened your eyes or gave you a new perspective or respect for a topic or profession?

 Holly: It was great fun to research Paris, its modern day brothels, and the French language because I’m so obsessed with these topics. Also, researching the autopsy process in gross detail completely creeped me out. I figure, if I’m really freaking myself out with these thoughts, then I better write them down, fast!

BB &B: You are getting great reviews on Sweet Violent Femmes.  Congratulations! Your writing style is described as beautiful, biting, highly descriptive, and like looking at a painting. Can you take us through a glimpse of your thoughts as you write and craft your words to tell your stories?

Holly: I try to be highly descriptive and write the scene I see in my head without too much fluff. When I’m editing, I cut the bullshit that came out the first time around. I try to think of Hemingway, and his no-nonsense prose. I model my writing after that style, and sometimes I’m pompous enough to tell people that, ha.

BB & B: What can fans expect from you in the near future?

Holly: More short fiction! It’s a format I will always have a soft spot for. Also, a YA novel. As a teen, reading became one of the most important things to me. I want to write for teens who have that passion like I did. It will be real-life drama, dark and humorous. I think dark fiction and comedy pair well together.

 BB & B: Any tips you’d like to provide to new writers or closing words you’d like to share?

Holly: Don’t listen to people TOO much. By that I mean, yes, learn everything you can, but be careful to filter advice from writers or readers so that you find what works for your own personal style. I’ve heard it a million times, but it’s a true cliché: the best thing you can do for yourself as a writer is to read and write.

Great words of advice. Thank you Holly for spending time with Books, Blogs, and Bits. Best wishes to you and we can’t wait to see more of your future work.

If you’d like to see more of Holly’s work, be sure to check out these links:

A Little Literary, (a lotta Coffee)

Facebook

Twitter

Purchase Sweet Violent Femmes Here:

Amazon.com

Barnes & Noble

Next steps

Conceptual Image - Stairway to change/freedom/creativity etc.Well the good news is that I’ve been busy writing.  However, now comes the time to edit and clean up and really start to polish the story to get it ready for publishing.

The funny thing is that even with all the work and love that has been poured into my story so far, the big work (at least in my opinion) is still yet to come…  Promotions and Marketing.

This is the part that really stumps me.  I don’t know why, but it’s like my brain has an aversion to it.  Maybe it’s because I don’t understand internet marketing and I know that for me, I need to understand the whys and the hows before I can show any remote interest in a subject–any subject.

Alas, this is something I cannot avoid.  As a “selfie” publisher, I don’t have a big publishing house to do my marketing.  This is something I need to learn to embrace and make my own.  I cannot be afraid of it.  It’ll remain an “unknown” until I get over this hesitation or perhaps fear that I have to tackle it head on.

I can’t do worse.  At this point, there’s only up, up, and up.  I was chatting with some other author friends today and they mentioned having a system in place.  I think that is sound advice and I have to find something that works for me and my schedule.  I may not be able to climb up the success ladder as fast as I’d like and I don’t need to run up the darn thing, I just need to ensure steady progress.

I need to forget about giant leaps and bounds and concentrate on baby steps.  I will reach my goal, one small step at a time.

If I don’t post for awhile, this is what I’ll be working on:

  • Set aside focused time to study Marketing and Promotions
  • Review the materials I’ve gathered on how to promote and market and hopefully find a process that works for me
  • Apply the lessons
  • See if the process/lessons worked
  • Re-work the process if needed

I’ll be back with an update 🙂  Wish me luck!