PROMOTING YOU: Amazon Author Central


PROMOTING YOU: Amazon Author Central

Natalie Bright

Frontiers in Writing conference, hosted by an Amarillo writer’s group,
featured Debbie Macomber as the keynote speaker many years ago. If this name
is unfamiliar to you, Macomber is one of today’s most popular women’s
fiction and romance author, with more than 200 million copies of her books
in print worldwide. As a newbie writer, I was definitely star struck.

One of the best pieces advice I’ve ever heard, and something that stuck with
me, came from Macomber. She said, “Do one thing every day that will promote
you or your writing, no matter how big or small. At the end of the year
you’ll have a list of 365 things done.”

Over the next several months, I’ll be blogging about “Promoting You” with
topics ranging from big things that might take you several hours, to not so
big things taking you several minutes. In the end, it’s all good and it’s
all important to your career as an author.

AMAZON AUTHOR PAGES

If you have books listed for sell on amazon.com, right under the book title
is your name. If you hover over the name, a window should pop up with a link
to your Amazon Author Page. Every author can access this feature,
traditional or Indie.

Join at https://authorcentral.amazon.com and sign in using the Amazon
account where you publish your books. Be aware that Amazon has rules regarding multiple accounts for sellers.

Once you have set up your account, “Add a book” which can be searched by
ISBN or title. It will appear on your Author Central site within 24 hours,
usually less, has been my experience. Approval from your publisher may take
several days, if you are not self-published.

You can post or edit original content at any time, such as a picture, add
your bio, pictures of author events, videos, and link your blog with RSS
feed. Your blog posts will automatically appear within 24 hours. There is
even an events calendar.

To Do this Week:

1. Set-up your Amazon Author page at Author Central.
2.  Create an Amazon Author Page URL link and let everyone know by tweeting
the link.
3. Tell us about it, too – post the link in the comment section below.

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THE END! Now what?


THE END! Now what?

Natalie Bright

We had a great discussion at WordsmithSix meeting about the next step, after you’ve edited and polished your manuscript. You are ready to publish: now what? Several of our members have finished, or are in the home stretch with their manuscripts, and have a very big decision: a) shop their book with agents and editors and pursue a traditional publishing deal, or b) become an Indie Author. We try to keep it real here at Wordsmith Six, so here’s your reality check:

Today’s publishing environment is exhilarating and exhausting. It basically boils down to the following issues, assuming you have a polished and edited book ready for publication.

A. Traditional Publishing

1. Author receives 10% royalty from sales (+/- depending on deal).

2. Author pays 15% from their share to a literary agent, who negotiates the deal.

3. Publication date: years (some smaller presses move faster)

$. Advance: possible, but not guaranteed

6. Sign on the dotted line and give up ALL rights to your novel, characters, cover design, content. You are out of the process, which is a huge relief and appealing to some authors. Go write the next book.

7. Big name publisher assists with promotion (minimal for first-time authors, but invaluable if you are at best seller status). Authors maintain website and social media.

8. Publication Date: Years from now.

9. Validation from a traditional publishing house and the writing community (this is exciting because we all have big dreams).

B. Indie Author

1. Author receives 70% cut of sales (+/- depending on venue)

2. Author learns how, or pays out-of-pocket for professional editor, formatting, cover design, promotion. Most indie authors agree, the work is 50% writing and 50% business owner. You maintain complete control.

3. Go wide as in world wide eBooks and/or Print. You identify the target markets and you design promotion that best connects with your readers.

3.Publication Date: within weeks from this very minute. You decide launch date.

4. Validation from family and local community. Your cousin doesn’t care if the publisher is Me Writer, LLC or Random House, they just want to buy a copy of your book. The local book club is excited to hear your talk.

Have I left anything off of the list that might be significant to newbie authors based on your experience?

This past Saturday, I went to the Texas High Plains Writers workshop by Indie Author Bethany Claire[bethanyclaire.com who has propelled herself and her Scottish time-travel series to best-selling status. She has become successful on her own terms, to the point that she was able to hire her mother as her assistant. They are developing an online class to help other indie authors who are serious about elevating their writing to the next level and who want to build a successful business.

After Saturday’s workshop, I feel better about a recent decision regarding my own work. At the end of last year, I turned down an offer from a small press. For the standard 10% royalty and no advance, I would have signed away an entire page and one-half listing of rights for my inspirational book. Sure, this deal might have propelled it in the market place, but I had to submit a marketing plan as well. Why do publishers want rights they never intend to exploit? That’s not to say traditional publishing deals are something I’d never consider. It depends on the book. For this one, I said no thanks.

Remove your author big-dreams cap for a moment and look at things through clear, sensible eyes. This is business. YOUR business. What process will be optimal for the book in hand, and for your continued success? You have three choices: traditionally published; an Indie AuthorPrenuer all the way; or a ‘hybrid’, which is an author who has published books through both options. It’s all good.

Keep writing, be excellent, and more importantly, get your work out there so I can read it!

Number 5


Number 5

by Adam Huddleston

Last week, my family and I welcomed a beautiful baby girl into the world; kid number 5 (if anyone’s counting). I used to write a bit of poetry, and while my skills are beyond rusty (and they were always far from sharp), I felt like dusting off the old lyrical portion of my brain and recording my feelings in verse. If you’ve ever spent those other-worldly hours in a delivery room, I’m sure you can relate. God bless and I hope you had a Happy Thanksgiving.

I know we did.

 

Cold steel, coats of white,

Nervous smiles, and gleaming lights.

Weary eyes, hearts beat fast,

Hours from now, we’ll meet our “last”.

Computers beep, the I.V.s drip,

The nurses float, the doctor’s quip.

….as pressure climbs,

“You’re doing great,” they say. “It’s time.”

The lovely face I see each day,

Begins to frown in tightening pain.

I hold her hand and kiss her brow

And tell her that “It’s not long now.”

The doc and nurses gather ‘round,

And do their job so smooth and sound.

Ten tiny fingers, ten tiny toes,

Two perfect eyes, and one button nose.

We hold our breath until she cries,

And grin so wide to know she’s fine.

We swaddle her in blankets soft,

Invite friends in to show her off.

Brothers/Sisters take their turn.

Pictures made and lessons learned.

We thank our loving God in heaven.

The Huddleston clan, now boasts seven.

 

Characters and Careers


Outtakes 232

Characters and Careers

by Cait Collins

Characters don’t just sit around all day shooting the breeze. They have jobs, careers, and education. But where do you start in researching careers? If you know someone in the profession, make an appointment to discuss the job description, education, salary, perks, lingo, attire and so forth. But if you don’t have access to an expert in the field, there are other sources to help you out.

When I first began writing fiction, I knew I would need handy resources. Writer’s Digest released Careers for Your Characters by Raymond Obstfeld and Franz Neumann a number of years ago. It’s one of the first books I purchased for my library. The volume covers 101 professions providing good information on common careers and some not so common ones. It’s has helped me better define some of my characters. Unfortunately, it doesn’t provide information on jewelry design and gemology. So it’s time to punt.

I started with pulling information from my college geology classes and labs. What equipment did I need for my hero? What would he have in his kit? Would he do some prospecting on his own? What is the process for filing a claim? And as the writer, what did I need to learn to create this character?

My local Barnes and Noble Booksellers provided a number of books for my research. Tom Jackson’s What’s that ROCK or MINERAL? guided me in rock and mineral identification. Smithsonian Nature Guide Rocks and Minerals by Ronald Louis Bonewitz provided information on gem properties and locations. Gemstone Settings by Anastasia Young gave me insight on the types of settings and lingo. I began comparing some of my personal jewelry with the designs in the book so that I could describe the various pieces in my hero’s line.

I then hit the internet to learn what gems one could find in Colorado. I also found fee sights where I could go to pan for gold and sluice for gems and minerals. I may need to make a trip to the state to put my book knowledge to work so that I can accurately describe the panning process.

What do I hope to gain from this research? I will be able to create more dynamic characters, settings and description. And in turn I will hopefully give the reader a really great story.

 

Sunday Writings


All the best stories in the world are but one story in reality – the story of escape. It is the only thing which interests us all and at all times, how to escape.    

AUTHUR CHRISTOPHER BENSON

 

What’s Your Genre?


What’s Your Genre?

Natalie Bright

As you think about your writing goals for the New Year, have you thought much about genre?

Here are some questions to ask yourself as you develop blogs, tweets, and promotion around your stories.

What kind of people will be your readers?

Where can you find these people?

Do your readers have other interests in common?

What blog topics can you focus on that directly relates to your published works?

Here’s to a productive New Year!

Too Busy to Write


Too Busy to Write

By Natalie Bright

Some days cause us to wonder why we even think that writing is a necessary part of our lives. Sometimes those days turn into weeks, and those weeks turn into months…and well, you understand.

Finally, we get back to the business of writing and the creative process seems so foreign. It’s like we’ll have to start over and relearn the basics.

Here’s a few writing exercises to get you back in the muse groove:

Write the inner thoughts from your main characters. Start with their life growing up, description of their parents, most afraid, most embarrassing–all from first person POV. Dig deep and really get inside your character’s head.

If you’re stuck on your book, write a short story, a magazine article, a nonfiction book, a story about your grandfather, childhood memories. Just write.

Make lists. I love making lists. Since I write westerns, I made a list of word substitutions for the word “horse” . Make a list of spicey words. Instead of the word jump, what other word would make that descriptive phrase better? Make an alphaetical list of your character names with a brief discription, like red hair, green eyes, trimmed mustache.

Prepare a timeline of your novel, scene by scene.

So there you go. Hope you have a productive week!

 

READING AND WRITING


READING AND WRITING
By Natalie Bright

One of the notable things that many successful writers have in common is that they read. If you find interviews by some of your favorite best-selling authors, they usually reveal their reading lists. And more often than not, they’ll have a few books that they’ve read over and over.

William Faulkner wrote, “Read, read, read. Read everything — trash, classics, good and bad, and see how they do it. Just like a carpenter who works as an apprentice and studies the master. Read! You’ll absorb it.” 

One of the WordsmithSix writers told me she reads Stephen Kings’ THE SHINING every year around Halloween. It’s one of her favorite books because of the psychological intensity, and of course written by one of the masters. My goal this year is to read that book in October. It’s already on my eReader.

Which comes first: the writer or the reader? For me personally, I can’t answer that question, but one bookshelf holds several of my cherished childhood picture books. And I can vividly remember my hometown library, Rhoads Memorial Library in Dimmitt, Texas.

Located on the same block, and just around the corner from the Laundromat, I spent most Saturdays there.  While my mother did our weekly wash, I whiled away the time with characters and discovered places I’ll never forget. Mrs. Howell usually had books ready and waiting for me. With a cheery “Good morning. I think you’ll enjoy this,” she’d hand me a stack of treasures.  The feel, the smell of the pages, the tingle of excitement; I couldn’t wait until I could bury my thoughts into the story.

One of the happiest days for my mom, and probably one of the saddest for me, was when my dad backed his pickup truck next to the front porch and unloaded a new washer and dryer. That was the Saturday I didn’t get to go to the library. And perhaps that was the day I started writing the stories in my head.

Who influenced you to become a reader?

nataliebright.com

SENSORY WORD: RED


SENSORY WORD: RED

By Natalie Bright

 

We think of our eyes as video cameras and our brains as blank tapes to be filled with sensory inputs.

Michael Shermer

I love this quote! Think of your readers as blank tapes. It’s your job as a writer to convey that image in as vivid a picture as possible. You create a world on a page with words that comes alive in the readers’ brain.

Let’s consider the color red. Think about digging even deeper. Instead of red, how about:

Pink, salmon, coral, raspberry, strawberry, tomato, currant, cherry, crimson, vermillion, flame, ruby garnet, wine

Each one of those shades of red creates a totally different mental image.

Thanks for following Wordsmith Six!

Nataliebright.com

 

 

 

Story in a Blog


Story in a Blog

by Natalie Bright

Emotion…

…is an important component of any great novel. Laughter, sadness, or horror—experiencing a wide range of feelings is perhaps the main reason readers read. Inciting emotion should be the goal of writers when they write.

An exceptional writer can take their readers on a roller-coaster ride of sensation. Can you remember the story that made you laugh out loud? How about an ending that left you crumpled in tears? And horror—thank you King and Koontz. Heavy sighs, heart pounding love; innocent and sweet, or in graphic detail if you so choose. Which brings me to topic of this post.

Last week, I read a blog post that contains all of the components of a great novel, an example that writing good blogs is just as important as writing good stories. Follow the link, read, and let’s discuss: click here.

Story in a Blog.

  • Writing from the heart makes for intense reactions. Dig deep. You might have to revisit those painful and embarrassing times in your life. Go there and be fearless. Your writing will be all the richer.
  • Empathy with the author. The reality of the situation brings to mind a myriad of sentiments for most of us. Panic, sheer terror, frustration, and tremendous joy at the thought of being a parent, plus I laughed out loud.
  • This blog post has the necessary components of a novel. A great beginning that drags the reader in, solid middle, and an ending that ties up the tale in a nice little package. It leaves the reader satisfied.

Side note: The author of THE BIG OOPS is our niece, Lindsay Bright, and I’m so very proud to announce that she’s recently been selected as a new contributor to the hugely popular CityMomsBlog. She’ll be blogging from the diverse city of Austin, so please watch for her posts there.

Thanks for following WordsmithSix!

 Nataliebright.com