Freebies

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It’s no secret that people read reviews from consumers on everything from mattresses to restaurants.

It’s the same with books. Even more so.

So, why not offer potential reviewers something free for writing a review of your book?

This “freebie” can be anything from a free copy of the book to a world cruise (Ha! Just kidding.)

Where to find these reviewers?

Look for books similar to yours that display a “Top Reviewer” badge. These are usually people who are willing to take the time to write a helpful review.

The Boxed Set

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Many readers like to read books in a series.

But what if you haven’t written a series?

What if, like myself, you have written standalones?

A great strategy I will be using in the next year, is the creation of a boxed set of three of my books. Runaways, The Choice, and Simon Says will be packaged as a “set” and given special pricing.

Ideally, sets should have something in common, such as: written in the same genre, taking place in a similar location or time period, and so on.

My three books all have the same basic theme: forgiveness, so they will be advertised as such.

Just another strategy to keep those books flying off the shelves.

The Right Words Are “Key”

businessman with a cup of coffeeAs we continue to take actions to drive sales to our sites, our discussion naturally turns to keywords.

Simply put, keywords are the words a prospective reader would type into the search bar in order to find a book on a topic or in the specific genre they are looking for.

If you have included these words into your headline, description copy, and your pages, your book will be “found.”

If you don’t include searchable keywords, the feisty little web crawlers will, in essence, crawl right on by and continue to search until they have discovered someone else’s website, book page, etc. Yikes!

The suggestion is that we narrow down a list of 5-7 keywords and insert them in our copy everywhere—and as often as—we can.

Some day, we may not have to do this. Some day, we may be famous and have a following–readers who require nothing more than typing in our names as they search for our latest books.

But for now, those 5-7 well-chosen words are key. 

All Things Visual: The Video Blog

 

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I mentioned in my last post that we would embark on a short venture together in order to learn to do things that would be visual and thus equate in BOOK SALES, according to the latest “research.”

The first idea I came across is the suggestion that authors create a video blog.

So, instead of writing posts each week, like I do, and pairing them with interesting pictures, we are being encouraged to make videos, upload them to YouTube, and then embed them in our blog posts.

In the videos, we can answer questions, do interviews, recommend conferences, teach writing skills, or endorse our books.

In the visual age, this is just one of many ways to drive sales to our website or Amazon page.

We will explore others in the weeks to come.

All Things Visual

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Lately, it seems all the buzz is about U-Tube videos, podcasts, and interviews.

All things visual.

There are websites which help authors do book trailers, podcasts, and interviews.

But, of all these, which really bring results? Which equate to book sales?

Glad you asked.

My next few posts will deal with each of these, individually. I will bring you the latest numbers in a concise manner.

See you next week for the first installment.

Stay in Your Own Lane

13366864053_840b7df994Driving home after an evening out, my husband complained about a driver in front of us. “Just look at that guy, weaving in and out of traffic. He’s going to get somebody killed. He needs to stay in his own lane.”

Perhaps writers should heed his advice. Settling on one genre, such as Amish Romances, for example, lets the reader know what to expect when purchasing one of their books.

When a brand is loud and clear, it not only benefits the reader, but it also helps the writer focus their writing.

New writers often have to feel their way through two or three books before they catch the vision for their writing, however.

Recently, I discovered that my books—Runaways: The Long Journey Home and The Choice: Will’s Last Testament—have a common thread: forgiveness. Then I took a hard look at my newest book, Simon Says, and found that this story about bullying  has forgiveness as its central theme, also. (Simon Says is not, yet, completed).

So, I guess I am in full “branding mode” and I couldn’t be happier than to be writing stories of forgiveness because they assure us there is hope after we mess up or make wrong choices.

So, if you don’t want your readers to be confused and you want to bring your writing into focus,

Simply find your lane and stay in it.

As Promised

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Second half of critique group questions from last week’s post:

6)  CONFLICT:

* Are character motivations powerful enough to create sufficient conflict?

* Is a potential for conflict established that is strong enough to move the story forward?

* Are the motives understandable?

7)  DIALOGUE:

* Is the dialogue between characters natural, purposeful, interesting, engaging?

* Does the dialogue contain emotion in a way that narrative cannot?

* Are the character’s voices distinct? Does each one have a different way of expressing themselves? Are their voices appropriate for the setting, genre, and time period?

* Is the dialogue believable?

8)  NARRATIVE AND POINT OF VIEW:

* Is the narrative well-placed with the dialogue, not overwhelming the reader?

* Is background information presented at appropriate times and in the correct POV?

* Is POV clear and consistent?  Are changes smooth and logical?

*Should I use a different POV?

9)  PACING:

* Has the author dropped the reader into the action?

* Does the story flow smoothly, freely, and logically?

* Does every scene move the story forward?

10)  STORY:

* Are the story ad plot elements compatible with the genre?

* Can you picture each scene in your head?

* Is the purpose of each scene clear?

* Does each scene move the story forward?

* Does the story hold your interest?

* Does everything in the story build logically, plausibly, and believable toward the end/climax?

* Where do you feel the story is heading?

* Do inspirational elements grow organically out of character or plot?