Friday, July 19, 2013

Marketing Tip for E-Books #1

Most of what I post on this blog will be for readers. But some of it will be for writers. Today I'm going to share a marketing tip for e-books because that's often the most frustrating side of this whole business.

Marketing Tip #1: Have a Marketing Day

Marketing is hard, time-consuming work. You could make a full time job out of just marketing and never write a book again. You've got to respond to e-mails, update your website, update your blog, post on Facebook, post on Twitter, search for websites that will advertise your book and fill out the forms, send out marketing e-mails, create keywords and descriptions that will (hopefully) help search engines find your book, and so on and so forth. It's a lot. Especially when you live with those sweet little time-suckers that go by the name "small children".

I can't market every day. It cuts into my writing time and my days are too inconsistent anyway. So once a week I have my 'marketing day' where I put all the writing aside and just do marketing. For me it's Friday. That's the day I update my website or do a new blog post or just read and brainstorm new ways to market. It's not my favorite thing to do and but books don't sell themselves! And you do get results. Since launching The Nine Princesses Novellas last year, I've sold/distributed about 30,000 books. So it's working, one Friday at a time!

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Maelyn Audio Book Coming Soon

I love reading books out loud. I read to my children almost every day, even though the older ones can read on their own. I used to read to my younger siblings when we were all teenagers. And now and then, I find a short story or magazine article I think my mom would enjoy, so I take it and read it to her. I just find reading aloud to be a nicer way to share a story with someone. You experience it together, rather than just handing them the book and saying "Read that, you'll like it." (Though I do that too.)

So when I thought of doing audio books for The Nine Princesses, I really wanted to read them myself. And I tried. But I hit a wall of technical ignorance and discovered that I just don't have the knowledge, equipment, time, and voice-acting skills to do a professional recording. For one thing, you need a silent room. Silent room? I have KIDS! Silence doesn't exist at my house.

So I went looking for an affordable voice actor to do Maelyn for me. And I found one! There's a wonderful site called ACX (Audiobook Creation Exchange) that's owned by Amazon. It's a place where authors can find voice actors, and voice actors can find authors! Win, win. 

I posted a reading sample from Maelyn and about a dozen or so actors auditioned for the job. I also browsed the various voice actors listed on the site and listened to their samples, trying to find one that sounded right to me. Eventually I invited one of those actors to audition and ended up giving her the job. I was looking for "feminine but serious" which is how I imagine Maelyn would sound. :)

So! The audio book is just about done and should soon be available in online stores, like If it does well, I'll look into doing an audiobook for Coralina. I guess in her case, I'll be looking for "smug and seductive" voices.  LOL! Really wish I was narrating that book.

I realize most everyone who visits this blog has probably already read Maelyn, but I wanted to share this anyway. It was a fun experience!