Time For a Spring Reset!

Spring often signifies new beginnings in literature and poetry, a rebirth, if you will. All that which lay dormant in winter now slowwwly stretches its limbs, lets out a big yawn and sigh of relief and comes back out to bask in the sun. The trees are budding, the deer are grazing, we now awake to the calming sounds of birds chirping, the sun stays with us well into the evening, it’s finally warm enough for sandals and everyone seems to be in generally better spirits because of those things aforementioned.

spring stretch

The charm and warmth of spring should not only put a pep in your step in your day to day life, but it should also be a time to pep up your writing and marketing efforts!

 

  1. Let spring be a new beginning for you. Make a list of things you’d like to begin with a fresh start. Do you need to begin editing, creating a marketing plan, blogging, etc? Now’s the time to do it!
  2. Use some springtime writing prompts to get the creative juices flowing and to help you “reset” after winter. Write about how the sunshine affects your mood and creativity, write about spring as a symbol of birth/life, write about the your sensuous experience wandering around in the natural world in springtime, etc. etc.
  3. Host an outdoor reading event in your community. Pick a nice sunny afternoon to encourage members of your community to get outside and share their love of the spoken and written word. This is a great way to network, to connect with other writers in your area and to have some fun in the sun!
  4. Start being more active on social media! Take pictures of the beauty around you, toss in a quote from a work of yours or of your favorite author’s and share with your audience! Blog, post about new developments in your publishing process, connect with readers on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter! Now that the butterflies are back, why not be a little social butterfly?
  5. Spruce up your website. Who knows more about you than…well, you? Write up a fresh author bio that includes recent accomplishments, publications, life developments and so forth.
  6. Join some forums, join Goodreads! These are both terrific venues for marketing your book and they help you connect more intimately with your audience.
  7. Host a drawing contest for the cover of your next book! The winner gets a free copy of your book and gets featured on your website and social media pages!
  8. Add a “Store” page to your website. This is a great way to increase sales and to have your readers buy directly from you rather than some third party website.
  9. Do some spring cleaning of your writing space and bookshelves. See our last few blogs for tips on how to “declutter” as a writer!
  10. Take advantage of this nice weather! Try writing outside, even if it’s just brainstorming. A little vitamin D and time in nature can go a longgg way!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Thank you for reading!  If you have any questions, comments, suggestions, or contributions, please use the comment field below or drop us a line at selfpublishingadvice@gmail.com.  And remember to check back each Wednesday for your weekly dose of marketing musings from one indie, hybrid, and self-published author to another. ♠


Kelly

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, kellyschuknecht.com

In Your Corner: Growing Your Market (Series Conclusion)

Two months ago, we started taking a look at ways to grow your market and expand your reach in various contexts as self-publishing authors. We discussed the ins and outs of cultivating a growth mindset, and tackled some of the most common challenges facing self-publishing (and therefore self-marketing) authors today, all in the form of a series focusing on positive growth (what can we do next?). You can find all of those previous posts at:

  1. Growing Your Market by Seizing on “Gift Opportunities”
  2. Growing Your Market in Barren Soil
  3. Growing Your Market With Elbow Grease
  4. Growing Your Market With Eyes for the Future Harvest
  5. Celebrating Your Growth

lightbulb plant growth energy

We talked briefly about next steps last week, but celebrating your growth (even if you put that celebration to work and multitask, as we so often are forced to do) isn’t really the end of the road, is it?

As a publishing professional with decades of experience in the field, I can tell you without a shadow of a doubt that the best tool in your marketing toolkit is another book. When you sit down to write another book, you put yourself back into that place where you first fell in love with words and what they can do. You remember what it is about this process that motivates you. And writing a new book gives you something to talk about just as much as it gives you something to center yourself on emotionally. Books–and good marketing plans–build upon each other, book by book, brick by brick, and the cyclical nature of:

write –> publish –> market –> write –> publish –> market

… is cumulative! It’s really more like:

write (book 1)  –> publish (book 1) –> market (books 1 & 2) –> write (book 2) –> publish (book 2 + new edition of book 1) –> market (books 1 & 2) –> write (book 3) –> publish (book 3 + new edition of book 2) –> market (books 1, 2, & 3) –> ad infinitum

Displaying the process as something linear is a neat trick, and the messier second version is closer to reality, but it doesn’t really capture everything, does it? After all, you’re very often writing bits and pieces of several books, short stories, and other projects all at once–and you’re just as often writing while you publish and market. That’s fine. That’s great! You do you, and do this publishing thing the way that best keeps you on track and in love with the process. Just remember … publishing is cyclical, just like life or gardening. And each cycle, like each ring in a tree’s trunk, is bigger than the one before. The workload will grow as your success grows, and if I have any advice for you as a writer moving forward, it’s this: keep doing it! Keep writing! Keep publishing books! Embrace the expansion of your marketing empire, and find ways to keep it rooted in your passion.

You are not alone. ♣︎


Elizabeth

ABOUT ELIZABETH JAVOR: With over 20 years of experience in sales and management, Elizabeth Javor works as the Director of Sales and Marketing for Outskirts Press. The Sales and Marketing departments are composed of knowledgeable publishing consultants, customer service reps and book marketing specialists; together, they all focus on educating authors on the self-publishing process 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, Elizabeth Javor can put you on the right path.

 

Tuesday Book Review: “Healing Walls”

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:

healing walls rea nurmi

cipa evvy 2nd place

Healing Walls

by Rea Nurmi

ISBN: 9781478785132

Synopsis*:

Opening new horizons to those whose lives are restricted. Healing Walls features the therapeutic side of Rea Nurmi’s work, which blends her skill as an artist with her love of vibrant colors and peaceful, natural settings. Her murals are designed and created to provide a liberating experience for patients, visitors and staff in the clinical environment of hospitals and other medical facilities. She describes her art projects as drab walls bursting alive with color and movement. Large works of gardens and other nature scenes relax and sooth both staff and patients in hospitals, nursing homes and other health facilities and schools. Rea paints alone or in collaboration with staff, patients and residents. Her intention is to bring color and light into the world and take the art where it is most needed. The first mural was done in the MRI unit at Yale New Haven Hospital. Others are located in major cities in Europe and her native Finland.

 * courtesy of Amazon.com

Featured Review

“See when you start at Yale, doors open.”

Thank you, everyone, who participated in our event with Finnish artist and now writer Rea Nurmi! The atmosphere was warm and intimate and Nurmi talked about her new book Healing Walls and showed us photos of the colourful walls she has painted with patients of hospitals, retirement homes and detention centres while guests enjoyed her lively personality and storytelling together with some cheeses, crackers and fruit. You can find a recording of the presentation online on our Facebook page!

“It’s no glamour work, I tell you!”

rea nurmiRea Nurmi is a painter who has produced and exhibited artwork since 1987. She divides her time between Helsinki, Finland and St Petersburg, Florida. She was born in Helsinki, Finland, where she graduated from the Structural Design Institute. In 1973 she moved to the US and worked as a designer in engineering firms in CT.

Nurmi’s journey as an artist began in 1986. She left her engineering studies and her work as a designer for a life adventure that took her travelling half-way around the world for several months: hiking in New Zealand, scuba diving off the Great Barrier Reef in Australia, exploring the beaches of Hawaii, and discovering Tahiti’s Moorea Island in the South Pacific. Inspired by her travels, upon returning home, she decided to devote all of her time to art.

reanurmi2-1024x558Through the years, Nurmi’s paintings have been displayed in solo exhibitions in New York City, Seattle, Washington, D.C., Boston, Helsinki and many other locations. Her work has also been featured in galleries throughout New England, in corporate collections in New York City. In 2011 she moved to St Petersburg, FL and she teaches a pastel class at the OLLI program at Eckerd College main campus.

Healing Walls features the therapeutic side of Nurmi’s work, which blends her skills as an artist with her love of vibrant colors and peaceful, natural settings. Her murals are designed and created to provide a liberating experience for patients, visitors, and staff in the clinical environment of hospitals and other medical facilities.

– reviewed by on www.FinlandCenter.org

 


tuesday book review

Thanks for reading!  Keep up with the latest in the world of indie and self-published books by watching this space!

Self Publishing Advisor

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Self-Publishing News: 9.17.2018 – New Releases!

And now for the news!

Some highlights from this month in the world of self-publishing, specifically new releases written by self-publishing authors and published by independent presses! Today we’ll be featuring brand-new releases in the Outskirts Press Bookstore!

Colorado native Katie Patterson brings us Ride, her first novel, a story about a city girl forced to reconsider her life of privilege, wealth, parties, and independence in the midst of rural Minnesota. Daughter of two Hollywood professionals, Alyson Butler happens to make an unwise decision at the beginning of the summer between junior and senior year of high school–the consequences of which have Alyson’s parents sending her to spend that summer with her grandparents at Davis Lake, far from the glamor and parties she’s so used to. And just when things are looking like she’ll have the most miserable summer of her life, Alyson meets Marc Maylore and his friends. And that’s when the secrets spin out of control, and Alyson is forced to contend with the fact that there may be more to those who live around Davis Lake than she thought, and that love, loss, friendship, lies, and self-discovery all await her should she find it in herself to open her heart.

Anyone who’s been pregnant in the last decade–and anyone who’s stepped foot in the “used books” section of their local thrift store–will likely be aware that there is a certain book series out there which claims to offer all the wisdom a pregnant person and their loving supporters might need to know during the pregnancy process. Spoiler! It doesn’t. And for many years, readers have been asking for a more nuanced approach to pregnancy. Dr. Nemchenko is here for those readers! And she has the experience to back it up; Dr. Nemchenko has been seeing my obstetric patients for over 10 years. This book addresses pregnancy and pregnancy-related issues in a holistic, effective and efficient way, giving attention to parts of the experience which are often neglected in public discourse, including myths about pain and second pregnancies. With positive reviews from other medical professionals, this is a book with the pedigree and the accessible voice we’ve long needed.

Last but certainly not least, we switch emotional gears to bring you word of this dark thriller from M. J. Meister, a writer with plenty of experience cataloging the human experience in an Emergency Operations Center. The press copy for this book lays some eerie groundwork: “With a dangerous cop for a father, a mad beauty for a mother, a grandmother in denial and unforgivable deeds secreted away within the shadows of Dead Man’s Woods, Josie had been forced to find a way to survive. No one had a clue about what was going on behind closed doors at the McGinnis home.” And that’s how this book begins–no one outside of the McGinnis home knows just how deep and dark the secrets are within that house, or how the perfect facade conceals unfathomable cruelty and pain. Little Josie grows up behind closed doors, tempered by her family’s harshness to become something else entirely. Dead Man’s Woods is her first novel, and it’s a killer.


spa-news

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 Monday to find out the hottest news. If you have other big news to share, please comment below.

selfpubicon1

Does Your Book Have a Book Video on Amazon?

Shopping and watching videos are among the most common activities people engage in on the internet. So it stands to reason that if you can combine those two activities, your chances for increasing engagement improve. Amazon has made that relatively simple by providing a number of different ways to add videos to help people shop for (and buy) your book.

The first way you can add videos to your products (or books) on Amazon is in a section on your Product Details Page called “Related Video Shorts.” This section appears directly below the “Product details” section. Next to the bold heading that says “Related Video Shorts” is a blue link that says “Upload your video”. When you click on that link you are taken to a category selection screen where you must choose the most appropriate category for your video.  

If you’re reading this blog, presumably your “product” is a book, so in most cases, the appropriate choice is probably “other” although if you have a non-fiction book and a “how to” video related to your subject (which you should), then the “how to” selection may be the most appropriate.

Once you select your category, a pop-up screen will appear showing a directory of your computer’s hard drive.  While not instantly obvious, this is where Amazon is expecting you to select your video file for upload, which it accepts in a variety of formats, although .mp4 is probably the best.  If your Amazon account is in good standing, your video will appear in the “Related Video Shorts” section of your product details page relatively quickly. Potential customers who are considering buying your book will then be able to see your video, which may help close the sale.

The next way to add a video is on your Author Profile Page. In the “Author Updates” section you will see the link.  This method doesn’t require you to select a category and appears to be less “restrictive” on the type and length of videos that are allowed.

The third way is using your blog and then setting up your RSS feed through your Author Profile Page. This is the least restrictive method, and you can upload any video you want this way, since Amazon doesn’t censor blog postings from 3rd party RSS fees. Of course, if you update your blog constantly, the video posting will quickly disappear from your Amazon Author Profile Page in preference to your newer posts.  A trick around that is to set-up a free blog (on WordPress for example) that is specifically meant for your Amazon Author Profile Page. Simply upload one posting of the video you wish to display on Amazon and don’t post anything else to that blog. Your video will reside permanently on your Author Profile Page because of the RSS feed setting.

Of course, all of this presumes you have a video (or videos) about your book to upload. There are a lot of methods to create those, but that’s a topic for a different blog posting.  Good luck!

youtube video illustration


brent sampson
In 2002, Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Semi-Finalist Brent Sampson founded Outskirts Press, a custom book publishing solution that provides a cost-effective, fast, and powerful way to help authors publish, distribute, and market their books worldwide while leaving 100% of the rights and 100% of the profits with the author. Outskirts Press was incorporated in Colorado in October, 2003.
In his capacity as the Chief Executive Officer and Chief Marketing Officer, Brent is an expert in the field of book publishing and book marketing. He is also the author of several books on both subjects, including the bestseller Sell Your Book on Amazon, which debuted at #29 on Amazon’s bestseller list.

Tuesday Book Review: “Wasp on the Wind”

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:

wasp on the wind c r norris

cipa evvy 2018

Wasp on the Wind

by C.R. Norris

ISBN: 9781478785989

Synopsis*:

The saga continues as a future apocalyptic world begins to reveal its secrets . . . Chris, now a Trax, was what the West Sand Command called “a greeny.” Her “Before Time,” that time before she had been rifted, had been from a distant past, and perhaps even a different timeline. Who could say . . .? But after some three years of training and a return to the very group who had rescued her from the desert, her “Now Time” circle was complete . . . with one adjustment, she was now also “Det Arju′” She carried with her a mysterious pendant that she had been ordered to present to Lon, the Tagos of the Choe, an assignment that, as of yet, no West Sand Commander was aware. Bruce, Chris’s friend, and fellow “Before Time” band geek, was rejected by the Trax. While Chris trained, his path hooked him to the side of the Taden’s greatest nemesis, the Captain. Now as his lieutenant, he must help the Captain save his command by aiding him in the capture of Ponopin, a genius Tader entrepreneur, and the Brigade’s greatest thorn. But as fate would have it, neither mission is as easy as it sounds, the tangle of circumstances sending Chris and Bruce on a collision course with each other.

Richly imagined, beautifully characterized, and deeply engaging, Wasp on the Wind will leave you clamoring for the upcoming third book in The Wasp Chronicles series.

 * courtesy of Amazon.com

Featured Review

“Wasp on the Wind” is the second book of the “Wasp Chronicles” trilogy by C.R. Norris, a science-fiction/action-adventure series that follows several different perspectives. Readers explore the world through military officers, merchants, and even a man wanted by the government. Each storyline is vastly different, but all of them converge with at least one other during the course of the novel.

The variety of characters provides insight to all corners of the setting, allowing the reader a total and immersive experience. The world itself is detailed and painstakingly wrought. Norris balances an impressive number of societies with an even more impressive number of characters. The novel’s scientific aspect is interesting and easy to understand, providing a fantastic introduction to the genre.

While the vast cast of characters provides many sides to an already complicated story, they can sometimes prove a hindrance. The point of view jumps are often random and confusing. There is no warning before the shifts occur, and this makes it seem as if the author simply couldn’t decide whether they wanted to write in third person limited or third person omniscient. It’s enough to pull the reader out of the story completely while they try and adjust to a new point of view that often lasts only for a few paragraphs.

I found many of the side characters come off as flat. They have a single trait that defines them, and they seem more like they are there to fill up space. Sci-fi novels tend to be more action-driven than character-driven anyway, but like the sudden point of view jumps, I just found these side characters distracting. I was annoyed with the one-dimensional feel of them and the way they drew focus from the main characters, and felt that a lot of them could have been combined or cut from the novel altogether.

Overall, “Wasp on the Wind” by C.R. Norris left me conflicted. The story is intriguing and something I want to know more about, but the characters and point of view conflicts give me pause in continuing the trilogy. I removed two stars from my final rating for these issues. I don’t think I would highly recommend the series for anyone with a love of character driven novels.

– reviewed by Skyler Boudreau on Reader Views

Other Reviews

Great storytelling! May even be better than the first book in the series which was also excellent. Very powerful and intensely written with strong character development. Highly recommended, especially if you’re looking for a different sort of sci-fi.

 – reviewed on Amazon by Vinny D.

Just finished reading The Wasp’s Nest by C. R. Norris. Since I am 85 and don’t usually read science fiction I wasn’t sure, but I enjoyed it so much and will look forward to the next in the series. M’s Norris just might have got me started reading science fiction that several of my grand children enjoy. Thank you young lady you did a great job!

 – The Wasp’s Nest as reviewed on Amazon by Joan Stegall

 


tuesday book review

Thanks for reading!  Keep up with the latest in the world of indie and self-published books by watching this space!

Self Publishing Advisor

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Self-Publishing News: 9.10.2018 – The Interviews!

Blue september paper banner with colorful brush strokes.

And now for the news!

Some highlights from this month in the world of self-publishing, specifically interviews with or articles written by self-publishing authors and experts!

A.B. Endacott, self-published Australian author, wrote this insightful piece for The Nerd Daily, a pop-culture (and just regular culture) website for those interested in regular updates on news, books to read, and more. In it, Endacott chronicles her journey through the publication process–specifically, its immediate aftermath, in marketing and selling her books. She first published in 2017 with two books, Queendom of the Seven Lakes and King of the Seven Lakes, and published a separate article through The Nerd Daily several weeks back on why she chose to take the indie route. In this week’s article, however, she focuses on what all she did to raise awareness about her books, from reviews to placement to social media, and her suggestions for other authors based on her experience. The best suggestion? That authors should get to have fun after their books are published, even during the marketing process. Seems like solid advice to us!

Although not strictly an interview, this article covers an author visit by Sandy Tritt to the Point Pleasant Writer’s Guild in such detail that it might as well be! Tritt, who is known for being the founder and CEO of Inspiration for Writers, Inc. and author of the books Everything I Know and The Plain English Writer’s Workbook, walked the guild members through her publishing experiences and her knowledge of the publishing process, step-by-step. Erin Perkins of the Point Pleasant Register describes Tritt as discussing the positives and negatives of both traditional publishing and indie publishing, including self-publishing and hybrid publishing. When opening the floor to questions, Tritt was asked for advice on keeping motivation. According to Perkins, “Tritt said if an author feels they need to tell a story, time will be made, and the author must ask themselves what is most important. […] ‘If you feel like you have the story tell, if you don’t write it, who will?'” The tried-and-true advice of published authors is invaluable to those looking to take the self-publishing path; if you have a chance to sit in on some author visits, we highly recommend it!


spa-news

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 Monday to find out the hottest news. If you have other big news to share, please comment below.

icon logo self publishing advisor

In Your Corner: Celebrating Your Growth

halloween holiday celebration cookies book

Over the last several weeks–months, really–we’ve been taking a look at ways to grow your market and expand your reach in various contexts as self-publishing authors:

  1. Growing Your Market by Seizing on “Gift Opportunities”
  2. Growing Your Market in Barren Soil
  3. Growing Your Market With Elbow Grease
  4. Growing Your Market With Eyes for the Future Harvest

This week, I want to talk briefly about what you can do to celebrate your harvest, given that we are now past Labor Day and looking forward to Halloween and Thanksgiving, when celebrations become the norm and not the exception. Are there ways to celebrate your work and also continue to contribute to this growth process we’ve been discussing?

There absolutely are!

Much  of what we’ve been discussing over the past few weeks–or months!–relates to the ongoing discussion about the prevalence of “fixed” versus “growth” mindsets. If you haven’t already tuned into that discussion, Brain Pickings has a great summary posted on their website which lays out the fundamental differences, and on Twitter, Sylvia Duckworth posted this great image which more or less sums up what get out of the conversation: a series of positive, declarative statements about ways to move forward in all aspects of my life.

growth mindset sylvia duckworth

I’m just going to leave that there for a moment, as background and a way to access and interpret the previous posts in this series. The talking point which concerns me today might be expressed in a fixed mindset as : “I’m all done now.” This statement is a summary one, a mere description of fact, and it leaves no room for further development (either of the self or of the project). A growth mindset would interpret this same fact differently, and possibly as a question: “What can I do next?” (Which I talked about somewhat in my last post.) Or, perhaps: “What else does finishing this project enable me to do?”

A good place to start, of course, is to celebrate your achievement. Take a moment to do so–you’ve earned it! But don’t let the momentum fade. Closing out one project always opens up doors to new possibilities, and I firmly believe we’re at our best and our most creative when we’re full of self-confidence and the glow of success (success as defined on our own terms and nobody else’s, of course)!

There is, of course, a way to turn our personal celebration into a marketing project in and of itself: Once you feel as though you’ve gotten your project where you want it and are ready to close it out and move onto something new, throw a party! You can use many of the same “tools” from your marketing toolkit we’ve talked about in previous posts, such as a launch party (only in this case, it’s a “closeout party” or a “next step party”), a reading or book signing (only, a “last chance tour”), or maybe just a simple digital crawl through your favorite blogs and social media sites to announce your gratitude for those who supported you along the way and casting a few hints as to what’s to come.

After all, one of the best ways to sell your book is to write another one. And the only thing people love more helping a project in the pipeline is partying hard over a success story! The key is to keep an open mind, and to foster a growth mindset. With a growth mindset, nothing is ever impossible and no door is ever truly shut.

You are not alone. ♣︎


Elizabeth

ABOUT ELIZABETH JAVOR: With over 20 years of experience in sales and management, Elizabeth Javor works as the Director of Sales and Marketing for Outskirts Press. The Sales and Marketing departments are composed of knowledgeable publishing consultants, customer service reps and book marketing specialists; together, they all focus on educating authors on the self-publishing process 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, Elizabeth Javor can put you on the right path.