Weekly Self-Published Book Review: Charlie’s Hoot

Leave a comment

Book reviews are a great way for self-publishing authors to gain exposure. After all, how can someone buy your book if he or she doesn’t know it exists? Paired with other elements of your book promotion strategy, requesting reviews is a great way to get people talking about what you’ve written.

When we read good reviews, we definitely like to share them. It gives the author a few (permanent) moments of fame and allows us to let the community know about a great book. Here’s this week’s book review by Midwest Book Review:

 charlies hoot

Charlie’s Hoot

H. Trussell Pyle

Publisher: Outskirts Press

ISBN:9781432780753

 

The web of the drug trade runs deep. “Charlie’s Hoot” is a novel of a small Florida resort town and the web of crime that lurks deep within the town. A mob boss brother is urged by his religious sister to go straight, and the corruption that plagues the town digs deeper. As a cop works with a technical ace to break the drug ring, “Charlie’s Hoot” proves to be a suspenseful thriller of crime, family, and the punishments that go towards those who seek to do right.

Self-Publishing Week in Review: 11/24/14

Leave a comment

As a self-publishing author, you may find it helpful to stay up-to-date on the trends and news related to the self-publishing industry. This will help you make informed decisions before, during and after the self-publishing process, which will lead to a greater self-publishing experience. To help you stay current on self-publishing topics, simply visit our blog every Tuesday to find out the hottest news.

Blazing the Self-Publishing Path

In this Publisher’s Weekly article, indie pioneer M.C.A. Hogarth shares her self-publishing journey and looks to the future of self-publishing. This is a fascinating read for all writers.

The Indie Author’s Guide to Customer Reviews

This article reveals how indie authors can turn that discouraging “no customer reviews yet” message into a smattering of star ratings and commentary. This is a must read for self-publishing authors.

Self-Publishing vs. Traditional Publishing: INFOGRAPHIC

This visual aid is an excellent resource for writers wondering whether self-publishing is right for them. It walks you through questions about your personal goals and beliefs to decide which type of publisher is best for you. While I still recommend doing more research when choosing a publisher, this is a great tool to help you learn about which choice might be a good match for you.

If you have other big news to share, please comment below.

ABOUT KELLY SCHUKNECHT: Kelly Schuknecht is the Executive Vice President of Outskirts Press. In addition to her contributions to the Outskirts Press blog at blog.outskirtspress.com, Kelly and a group of talented marketing experts offer book marketing services, support, and products to not only published Outskirts Press authors, but to all authors and professionals who are interested in marketing their books and/or careers. Learn more about Kelly on her blog at http://kellyschuknecht.com.

Self-Publishing, A Reason to Be Thankful

1 Comment

As you enjoy your Thanksgiving dinner this week, I hope you take the time to reflect on all the things you have to be thankful for. As a writer, there are many reasons to be thankful for self-publishing. Here are the top five reasons I am thankful for self-publishing.

1. Freedom of Expression

Self-publishing gives writers the freedom to creatively express themselves. They don’t have to wait for an editor to decide their story is worthy or be told to change their vision to fit a commercial market.

2. Creative Control

Self-publishing authors maintain complete control throughout the publishing process. They decide how the book will look, read, and be sold.

3. Financial Opportunity

Self-publishing offers writers the opportunity to earn an income from their work. Unlike traditional publishing, self-publishing authors aren’t stuck with low royalties. They earn more from each book they sell.

4. A Changing Market

Self-publishing continues to grow in popularity, and previously successful traditional authors are even choosing to go the self-publishing route with their new books. With this comes more respect for self-published authors.

5. Quick Turnaround

Traditional publishing is a long process filled with rejection. Self-publishing authors don’t have to suffer through countless rejection letters, and their books are often printed quicker those printed by traditional publishers.

I’d love to know, why are you thankful for self-publishing?

ABOUT JODEE THAYER: With over 20 years of experience in sales and management, Jodee Thayer works as the Manager of Author Services for Outskirts Press. The Author Services Department is composed of knowledgeable customer service reps and publishing consultants; together, they all focus on educating authors on the self-publishing process in order to help them publish the book of their dreams. Whether you are a professional looking to take your career to the next level with platform-driven non-fiction or a novelist seeking fame, fortune, and/or personal fulfillment, Jodee Thayer can put you on the right path.

Friday Conversations With A Self-Publishing Writer 11/21/14

Leave a comment

CHARACTERS II

Many years ago my writing friend, Sara Huff, gave me a paperback book titled: Fiction is Folks by Robert Newton Peck.  The subtitle on the cover reads: “Characters are what readers remember, what editors look for, and what turn aspiring writers into published authors.”  SO TRUE!  Mr. Peck has been writing for a while, listing upwards of fifty-five novels, six books of nonfiction, thirty-five songs, three television specials and over 100 poems to his resume.  Much of his success he credits to his teacher—Miss Kelly.  “She taught first, second, third, fourth, fifth, and sixth in a tumble-down, one-room, dirt-road school in rural Vermont,” Peck tells his readers. “She believed in scholarship, manners, and soap.”  Do you already have an image in your minds?  Yes, I’m sure you do.  And creating such images—intricately detailed ones—is how Peck develops his characters.

Following Robert Peck’s example (and the pattern of many well-known and established authors) I offer the following simple concepts about character development.  They blend several philosophies about character types and have helped me see the people who walk and talk in the fiction and non-fiction stories I enjoy reading.

  • Who makes you laugh? Who makes you cry? These two seemingly opposite emotions are crucial in developing layered elements of any character type—because—laughing and crying are major pieces in everyone’s life. The personality elements that bring out these reactions in people will help you create very believable characters.
  • Who makes you feel safe? Who makes you feel afraid? Security and fear are two components that heighten a character’s makeup and set the stage for multiple possibilities within the plot—the storyline—of any book. The human DNA seeks security and fears the loss of it. Therefore, the writer must understand these facets of their characters from as many perspectives as possible.
  • What do you believe—at your core? What do you have real doubts about? These two character aspects (at least for the main group of characters) give writers miles of material for character and plot development. Dialogue develops naturally from the interplay between characters who not only hold conflicting beliefs and doubts, but who agree with each other on various levels of the same beliefs and doubts.

Although these three concepts seem ultra-simplistic, they are not.  The writer who avoids developing them will end up with paper-doll characters who barely breathe in the pages of the book.  As writers we have been given an extremely valuable gift—a legacy passed forward to us by multiple generations who may have never owned a book of their own.  Robert Peck acknowledges this in his headline statement on his Internet Homepage.  It reads: “If I possess any wisdom at all, most of it was given me by a mother, father, an aunt, and a grandmother…none of whom could read or write.”

So it is that I encourage you in your writing efforts to be the best writer you can be at any given moment in time.  Hopefully, we all continue growing in our craft.  To that end, I suggest adding another of Mr. Peck’s books to your resources library: HOW to Write Fiction Like a Pro—A Simple-to-Savvy Toolkit for Aspiring Authors.

May each and every one be blessed with exceptional inspiration this day as you develop your own writing legacy to pass forward in ALL the books you PUBLISH!

Royalene ABOUT ROYALENE DOYLE: Royalene Doyle is a Ghostwriter with Outskirts Press, bringing more than 35 years of writing experience to authors who need “just a little assistance” with completing their writing projects. She has worked with both experienced and fledgling writers helping complete projects in multiple genres. When a writer brings the passion they have for their work and combines it with Royalene’s passion to see the finished project in print, books are published and the writer’s legacy is passed forward.

Weekly Self-Published Book Review: Rebellion of Silence

Leave a comment

Book reviews are a great way for self-publishing authors to gain exposure. After all, how can someone buy your book if he or she doesn’t know it exists? Paired with other elements of your book promotion strategy, requesting reviews is a great way to get people talking about what you’ve written.

When we read good reviews, we definitely like to share them. It gives the author a few (permanent) moments of fame and allows us to let the community know about a great book. Here’s this week’s book review by Midwest Book Review:

 Rebellion of Silence

Rebellion of Silence

Brittney Martin

Publisher: Outskirts Press

ISBN:9781432786250

As the final hopes fall apart, people try to get what justice they can. “Rebellion of Silence” is an entry into the Adon series, telling of the struggles within the city of Kirave, at war with the vicious Rahion, and, it seems, themselves. Avarah sees only violence, and joins the Silence, a group seeking to find justice before the city collapses on itself. Looking towards Sier, a man with the blood of the very creatures hunting them, “Rebellion of Silence” is an original take on fantasy, very much recommended.

Rising Through the Ranks | A Beginner’s Guide to Search Engine Optimization (Part V)

Leave a comment

And so it begins––my fifth and final post in this series detailing some of the main tips and tricks of the trade when it comes to Search Engine Optimization, or SEO.  In a moment I’m going to dive into a final grab-bag of tidbits that will help boost your SEO ranking, but first, I wanted to take a moment to think back to the five steps I’ve already described:

Step 1: Optimize your keywords.

Step 2: Optimize your content.

Step 3: Optimize your title.

Step 4: Optimize your tags.

Step 5: Optimize your use of Google Analytics.

As you can see, many if not most of these points are geared towards altering what you do on what I like to call the “micro” level.  The idea is that, if you can fine-tune your material down to the sentence or the briefest keystroke, you’ll suck in the readers who might have eluded you up to this point.  And this is true!  … to an extent.  There’s no such thing as a perfect fix when it comes to SEO, particularly for the struggling blogger or audacious self-published author.  It’s tough to compete with corporations and rival blogs and authors in the same field or genre, when they can afford to pay a company to “link-build” or otherwise generate rank-boosting digital content for the paying customer, especially if you’re one of the many writers struggling to make ends meet, whether financially or in terms of the time and energy you have available to dedicate to your own SEO process.

The good news is, all of the steps I have described are easy to replicate, or involve tweaking your already-existing habits to include an extra step.  Crafting and using keywords, for example, should only add thirty seconds or so to your usual blogging time.  Google Analytics, on the other hand, might soak up an hour of your time––but only once a month, or once every six months, depending on how often you find it useful to employ.  The key is, as always, to pick the steps that you can incorporate into your routine, and that actually help you achieve your vision for your own materials.

With that thought in mind, I thought I’d round out this five-blog series with five final––and brief!––thoughts on how best to maximize your SEO process.

Step 6: Optimize connections between your own materials.  Many search engine algorithms are smart enough to exclude internal links, so providing a list of links to my own blog posts as I did above won’t automatically boost my SEO.  But what it does do is make it a whole lot easier for my readers to navigate my material, and browse from blog to blog––and reader behavior does boost my ranking.  Make sure your digital content is easy on the eyes and easy to navigate, and also make sure that your readers can find your other platforms––whether Facebook, or Twitter, or Instagram, or Tumblr, or some other––with as few clicks or keystrokes as possible.

Step 7: Optimize external opportunities for links.  Your SEO is most powerfully influenced by links from external and respectable sources, like .edu and .org websites.  The higher the search engine ranking of the website that refers to your digital content, the greater the effect on your own ranking.  Don’t forget to be ambitious when it comes to asking websites to list a link to your content––as my mother tells me, the worst thing someone can say is “no.”  And if you host an event such as a reading or a book signing, make sure every email and piece of promotional material that goes out lists your email and website (or websites) in full.  That way, if you’re quoted in a newspaper or a blog, the link is right there.

Step 8: Optimize your page speed.  This one just makes sense, right?  If your website loads slowly, readers may grow impatient and simply move on, particularly if they’re trying to read on their mobile devices.  Search engine algorithms are smart enough to take this loading speed into account when they generate your ranking, so don’t underestimate the value of a streamlined, elegant, and speedy interface.  (You can check your current page speed using Google’s handy page speed tool.)

Step 9: Optimize your goals.  It is possible to sabotage your attempts at SEO, as with many other things, by attempting to do too much at once.  You don’t want to reach a point of burnout, when you’re so sick of trying to keep a hundred balls in the air by sheer willpower, and you’re not enjoying the process of creating your own digital content any longer.  Baby steps, baby steps.  Your readers know when you’re not having fun, and when you’re no longer writing for them but rather for a set of 1s and 0s.    The truest secret to creating masterful, authentic, and valuable content is to really love what you do.

Step 10: Optimize your optimism.  SEO can take time, and energy, and money, and perhaps a chunk of your peace of mind (if you’re not able to follow step 9, that is).  But SEO is not the enemy, and low web traffic doesn’t have to be a problem. It’s a start. You’re only going to learn more, and grow your reader base, from here.

Keep in mind that SEO isn’t magic, and it isn’t deliberately trying to be difficult.  It is, instead, the natural byproduct of human attempts to best utilize a system––a mathematical algorithm––and to stand out in a crowded marketplace.  You may just need a little boost.  SEO is a rocket engine powering through the clouds of material obscuring your voice from your readers.  With a little time, and a little care, you can master the basics of SEO!

Check back every Wednesday as I begin a new series.  If you have a question about any of these tools for self promotion, would like to hear from me about something specific, or have other big news to share, please comment below!

 

ABOUT KELLY SCHUKNECHT: Kelly Schuknecht is the Executive Vice President of Outskirts Press. In addition to her contributions to the Outskirts Press blog at blog.outskirtspress.com, Kelly and a group of talented marketing experts offer book marketing services, support, and products to not only published Outskirts Press authors, but to all authors and professionals who are interested in marketing their books and/or careers. Learn more about Kelly on her blog at http://kellyschuknecht.com.

Self-Publishing Week in Review: 11/18/14

Leave a comment

As a self-publishing author, you may find it helpful to stay up-to-date on the trends and news related to the self-publishing industry. This will help you make informed decisions before, during and after the self-publishing process, which will lead to a greater self-publishing experience. To help you stay current on self-publishing topics, simply visit our blog every Tuesday to find out the hottest news.

Traditional Publishing vs. Self-Publishing: What’s The Best Route For Entrepreneurs

This Forbes.com article discusses the best publishing route for entrepreneurs. Writing a book is a great way for professionals to market themselves and their products and company as well as build their credibility and connect with their followers.

A Bright Future for Indie Authors

This article discusses changes in the publishing industry and the future of books, bookstores, and self-publishing. This is an interesting read for all writers.

Why You Should Buy Indie eBooks and Avoid Traditional Publishers

This article offers reasons why readers should buy ebooks from self-published authors. This is an insightful read for all writers and readers.

If you have other big news to share, please comment below.

ABOUT KELLY SCHUKNECHT: Kelly Schuknecht is the Executive Vice President of Outskirts Press. In addition to her contributions to the Outskirts Press blog at blog.outskirtspress.com, Kelly and a group of talented marketing experts offer book marketing services, support, and products to not only published Outskirts Press authors, but to all authors and professionals who are interested in marketing their books and/or careers. Learn more about Kelly on her blog at http://kellyschuknecht.com.

Older Entries

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 888 other followers

%d bloggers like this: