Why You Need An Author Website When Online Publishing

(Already know why an author website is important? You can go straight to my article How to Get the Most Out of Your Author Website here)

If you’re someone who isn’t particularly savvy with technology, you might be thinking: can’t I just skip this online publishing step? Why do I need one?

And who can blame you? I was in the same boat, too – visiting a website is one thing, but creating one is another.

An author website can be an absolute must if you’re serious about online publishing

An author website can be an absolute must if you’re serious about online publishing

However, having a website is the norm these days. No denying that. And I would say it’s an absolute must for every author – especially indie authors. Think of your own buying experiences and consider this example:

Let’s say you’ve heard about a new e-reader made by the Great E-Reader Company. Your friend tells you it’s a great price, has a great battery life, crystal clear screen, and so on. This thing sounds like the business! But you want to know more about this company. Except when you try to find their website, there isn’t one…

(Has a faint alarm bell gone off?) You find that every other e-reader manufacturer has a website…but the Great E-Reader Company doesn’t for some reason.

This would personally Continue reading

How to Stop Stressing About Your Self-Publishing Sales Ranking

I’ll admit I used to have an addiction. A sales rank checking addiction (better known in the self-publishing world as SRC). If you have something similar, don’t go and hassle your doctor – it’s something you can learn to control yourself!

Over-worrying about your self-publishing sales ranking can encroach on your writing time before you know it

Over-worrying about your self-publishing sales ranking can encroach on your writing time before you know it

When I first published my novel ALEX on Amazon, checking my sales was just a novelty thing, a hobby – but as I became increasingly serious about my self-publishing efforts I found myself checking a little too often. OK, it was a lot. I wanted to know how my book was doing all the time – what the number was next to that hash tag, if I had any new reviews, comments and so forth.

I just couldn’t stop refreshing that page and so, like any bad habit, knew I had to knock it out the park – but I found that this one needed a massive swing to send it sky high. Bad habits are usually not only bad for you, but also waste hefty amounts of your time – and if you’re an author with readers awaiting your next book, you’ll know just how precious that time is!

Continue reading

Twitter Indie Author Marketing: How to Save Bags of Time – for Free!

If you’re fairly confident with Twitter but want to know how to save a significant amount of marketing time – without spending a penny – then this article is for you. If you’re still a bit green, you might be interested in firstly checking out my Quick Reasons Why Authors Need Twitter and Indie Author Marketing Twitter Basics.

Twitter can really eat away at your time - but luckily there's a free way to get it back

Twitter can really eat away at your time – but luckily there’s a free way to get it back

Twitter is a fantastic tool for indie authors. No doubt. Facebook is good, but nowhere near as dynamic – though I’d recommend implementing both platforms into your strategy.

Before we begin, I’ll state again that I’m no Twitter expert – my advice is just based on my own experiences and what has worked for me. I also don’t claim that my time-saving method is the quickest possible out there – there are slightly quicker ways, but they usually require apps I’ve found to be quite expensive over time. There are also a number of positives, besides cost, that come with my free method. (More on this later)

Anyway, so by now Continue reading

Twitter Indie Author Marketing – The Complete Quick Guide for Beginners

If you’re a self-published author trying to further your ebook marketing strategy with Twitter but are baffled by the platform, then this article is for you. It’s basic stuff, yes, but when it comes to Twitter it’s best to start off small. I myself found the platform to be quite a fickle beast to begin with!

Twitter can be a baffling social media tool for beginners - especially if you're trying to promote your indie novel

Twitter can be a baffling social media tool for beginners – especially if you’re trying to promote your indie novel

If you don’t know about the marketing powers of Twitter yet, my Quick Reasons Why Authors Should Embrace Twitter article is there for your consumption. I’ll briefly mention that I’m no expert on Twitter – I’m just writing about my own experiences and what has worked best for me.

Firstly, in a nutshell, what the heck is Twitter and why on earth do you need it?

Nutshell answer: Twitter allows you to build book buzz by growing a network of readers (Followers); reader interaction and an active, engaging and informative profile will help achieve this.

OK, so you’ve set up Continue reading

Quick Reasons Why Self-Publishing Authors Should Embrace Twitter

Though Twitter is an invaluable free tool which can do absolute wonders for your self-publishing sales, I have to admit to being baffled by it to start with. In fact, it took me a while to get rolling.

After you’ve familiarized yourself with the platform, your self-publishing success can improve incredibly with Twitter

After you’ve familiarized yourself with the platform, your self-publishing success can improve incredibly with Twitter

All those Tweets, Retweets, Hashtags, weird little links – what’s that all about? And to be honest, I didn’t really care to find out, either. It seemed like a real enigma, like Facebook’s mysterious cousin.

That was until I actually forced myself to jump in and add it to my self-publishing marketing campaign. Now, I must say that Twitter is not the simplest of social networking platforms to fathom – maybe it was just me? – but it’s well worth your time.

Did I mention it has over 1.1 billion users throughout the world? (That got my attention rather quickly too when I heard it!)

Twitter is like Facebook, but…somehow totally different. Its social networking purpose remains the same, at least. You have a profile, a handle (username), and you can communicate with people (your Followers). Continue reading

Introduction to Ebook Publishing Marketing Channels

This aspect of ebook publishing can be daunting – so it’s best to embrace it slowly

This aspect of ebook publishing can be daunting – so it’s best to embrace it slowly

The first part of this article will briefly introduce you to the giant ebook publishing marketing universe. It’s well worth a read if you’re a new indie author as it’s important to ease yourself into the mass of channels out there gently.

From my personal experience, I know how daunting and overwhelming it can be as a new author. Social networking, blogs, websites, advertising, promotions, giveaways, interviews, reviews – it can sound like a complete nightmare! Continue reading

A Super-Quick Guide Through the Kindle Publishing Upload Process

The Kindle publishing upload sounds simple – but this vital stage should never be rushed

The Kindle publishing upload sounds simple – but this vital stage should never be rushed

Now that you’re all set – formatting and conversion complete – and ready to begin the Kindle publishing upload stage, this article will walk you through the main points involved. It sounds like there’s nothing to it – but you might be surprised. (The distribution process I’ve chosen is from Amazon’s KDP Program – but don’t worry, most other distributors usually ask for very similar criteria)

1. Book Title: This one doesn’t need much explaining, but there are a couple of things to consider. If your title is a little modest, you might want to think about adding a little extra something. For example, my book titled Alex sounds like it could belong to Continue reading

Alex Q&A & My 10 Second Free Kindle Books Promotion!

Read Alex? My Free Kindle Books Promotion allows you to get my second novel for free in just 10 seconds!

Read Alex? My Free Kindle Books Promotion allows you to get my second novel for free in just 10 seconds!

I’m sorry it’s taken me so long to get around to updating my blog. I need shooting!

As promised – although it’s taken me some time – I’ve managed to make a condensed list of the various questions I’ve received about Alex in my inbox. If your question isn’t included, please forgive me. I have, however, included a selection I hope will be of the best interest for most of you out there. Before I begin, thanks again to everyone who has taken the time to get in touch.

1. “Where did you get the idea for the book?”

Parts of this story have always existed in me, I guess. I’ve always been interested by the criminal mind and what ‘evil’ really is. Why do people commit evil? Where does evil come from? I’m someone who thinks a lot – and with this curse comes the thirst for knowledge. Mine is with the human condition. As for the setting of the book and the unfolding events, what can I say? They were simply thoughts which flew into my head on a daily basis that soon turned into a story.

2. “Was anyone in real life the inspiration for the character Alex?”

It would be impossible for any writer to come up with a character without having drawn from the world around him at some point to begin with. But the answer is mostly no. He is a fictional character created by myself.

3. “Do you ever get apprehensive about revealing the more detestable attributes of your characters?”

This is literally how the question was sent to me. I like the wording here a lot! To be totally honest, though, no. I’m not the first person to say this, but I truly believe there’s no point in writing anything in fiction, especially when it comes to characters, if you’re afraid to be honest about them. The characters I write are human, and so of course, are built and apt to feel, say, and do things you wouldn’t in church. We’re all detestable in our own ways, after all, aren’t we?

4. “Don’t you worry that the subject matter of this book is a little controversial?”

I got a lot of these kinds of questions. The word ‘controversial’ gets thrown around a lot in fiction. But in answer to the question, no. Anything that’s in this book has either already happened or is already happening on earth. The job of a writer is surely to comment on culture and life, and I take my writing very seriously. If I had to worry about censorship and helping to reassure that the world’s a perfect place, I don’t think I would have written a single word of Alex to be honest. I’ve always felt that by writing about the things we’re afraid to talk about in society, it breaks down barriers and helps us to hopefully understand the world better.

5. “This book didn’t really seem to fit the rhythm and pattern I was used to (in a good way). Was this deliberate? Did you consciously try to make it different and less predictable?”

Firstly, I’m flattered if people found it unpredictable. That means I must have been doing something right! As for the rhythm and pattern, that is probably just down to my style. As a reader of both literary and genre fiction, this may be the reason, as I tend to write ‘read-between-the-lines’ characters inside a ‘structure-based plot’ common in genre fiction. I didn’t set out to deliberately be different, though. This is just how I write.

6. “Are you writing a sequel or another title at the moment?”

I am working on another…but I can’t reveal anything too much at this time! Thanks for the interest, though. I’ll keep you all up to date when it gets a little nearer to completion. If you’ve read ALEX and enjoyed it, posting a quick 10 second review on Amazon will get you my second novel absolutely FREE when it’s released soon – before it’s available to Amazon customers! (For more info, click this free Kindle books link)

7. “When did you start writing?”

I started writing seriously (in fiction) about five years ago, after accidentally rekindling my childhood fascination with creative writing. I’m glad I did…

8. “Is it true that all authors actually write the last chapter first?”

I can’t speak for other writers…because in reality, from speaking to ones I know, we all tend to do things a little differently. For me, this wasn’t the case. I firstly had an idea and immediately wrote out a page to explore the thought I’d had. After reading it back to myself, it was then that I realised I could make it into a story. I created a loose structure for the book’s events, and then started at chapter one. I may not have typed the last chapter first, but I knew absolutely where the book was going; writing a book without knowing your ending is like driving to the airport without a plane ticket – you don’t know where you’re going, what you’ll need, and how long it might last.

9. “Any secrets on how to finish a novel without giving up?”

I don’t think there are any real secrets. It’s a long, demanding process that’ll take up a lot of your time and energy, and so, without sounding like Churchill, never, ever, ever give up! If you’re serious about your writing and believe people will enjoy what you have to offer, go for it. Easier said than done, of course! It may take you a year, two, or even three. Sacrifice and dedication are essential in the slow lane of writing, so remember to kill your TV if you’re a screen addict. By killing it, I mean throwing it from your bedroom window. (I’m kidding!) The best way to moderate your intake is not by hiding the remote, but by willingly avoiding it more than usual. Trust me, once stuck into your writing, you’ll realise your work is of far more importance than knowing who the latest celebrity was to be voted off Dancing on Ice. Not that I’m against these kinds of shows (I love a bit of TV) – I’m merely saying your writing productivity can improve tenfold if you get the balance just right.

Article feedback as always is very welcome, everyone! Was there something else you’d like to know about Alex, writing, or my free promotion? Enter your comments below and I’d be delighted to get back to you!

ALEX, the Kindle #1 Thrillers & Suspense Best Seller, is available on Amazon UK, US and worldwide – it’s also part of Amazon’s Free Kindle Books collection if you’re a Prime Member.

10 Second Free Kindle Books Promotion Gives You My Second Novel for Free!

This is just a quick post to inform you all of some exciting Free Kindle Books promotions news.

To celebrate the release of my second novel, which will be available soon, I’m offering Free copies to my readers. If you enjoyed my debut novel, Alex, all you need to do is leave a quick ten second review on my Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com page. Literally one or two sentences will do. Continue reading