New Author Tip – Nothing is a Waste of Time

Me and Vivica Fox at her Book Signing yesterday. Be sure to stop by The Medu Bookstore at the Greenbriar Mall in Atlanta and grab your copy of ‘Everyday I’m Hustling’ by Ms. Fox and ‘I am Soul‘ by me!

Dear Indie Author / Self-Publisher, that thing you are doing, that step you’re taking, that move you made….

…is not a waste of time and don’t let anyone tell you that it is. Time is never wasted. Everything is a learning experience IF you choose to see it that way. People like to tell you not to do something because it hadn’t worked out for them or because they can’t see any good in it. If you sow negativity about every mistake then you will reap negativity and nothing will ever work. But, if you sow positivity by turning those mistakes into lessons then you will reap positivity by acquiring a new skill. You will be blessed with an understanding you didn’t have before and the courage to take risks that are no longer bound by the limitations of others.  As an Indie Author you will be bombarded with advice so you have to be very conscious of what works for YOU and what doesn’t. Sometimes the only way to know this for certain is to do the work. Knowledge is only power when it is applied. At some point you must make the difficult decision to stop researching and have faith in the work. Just do the work.

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To Support an Author

Updated: This post has been revised and updated on 8/12/18

 

Purchasing the book is just one way that we can support an author’s work. There are many more. Can’t afford the book? Know your options.

  • Buy the Book

Obviously, the best way to support an author is to purchase their books. This helps us financially as well as build our fan base. If you like the book we hope that you will be back for more.

  • Review the Book

There are so many advantages to you reviewing a book after you’ve read it. Amazon’s algorithm judges the author’s popularity and therefore the book’s quality as a product to promote by sales and reviews. It gives those who have not read it insight into what the book is about (beyond the blurb), helps them to see if it’s worth reading, and shows readers that others are talking about the author. This is important because Indie Authors have to do a lot themselves and will often be seen self-promoting. Book Reviews give us a chance to involve others unrelated to the work to do the promoting for us. As an author, this shows readers that you aren’t just tooting your own horn. Others enjoy your writing too. Book reviews are a form of social proof.

  • Rate the Book

If you don’t have time to review it, rating it is just as good. It will bring more attention to the book and make it more visible to readers. You can rate books via Amazon and Goodreads. This shows up at the top of your updates for your friends to see just like if you left a review. Also, if you rate a book it will automatically mark the book as read (so don’t rate books you haven’t actually read).

  • Mark the Book as “To read” on Goodreads

Again, this boosts a book’s credibility. The more people who mark the book as “To Read” the more attention if gets from people looking at the page. The book will also show up at the top of your timeline so that other readers can see it too, boosting visibility for the author. If you know of an author and you’d like to support them but you can’t purchase or review their book right now, head on over to their page on Goodreads and mark the book as “To read”. They’ll appreciate it. Also, if you’re an author, be sure to set up an Author Account on Goodreads. When you first join, you will be defaulted to a reader account. To learn how to upgrade to an author account, read this article HERE.

  • Follow the Author’s Amazon Page

If the author has the link to their amazon page on their site you can just click it and push the follow author button. However, if not you can always search them. Go to Amazon.com and enter their name into the box. Amazon’s search engine acts similar to Google’s so I am sure you will find the author you’re looking for. When you find them, follow their Amazon page to be alerted to new books.

  • Rate the Author’s Top Reviews

Scroll through the author’s reviews and pick one of their best ones. Then, if it’s helpful in determining your decision on whether or not to buy, click that it is helpful. Like ratings and reviews, this helps the book to show up more as a recommended read.

Other ways to support an author include, but are not limited to:

  • Follow the author’s blog
  • Join the author’s email list / newsletter
  • Follow the author on social media

Wanna get started? Do one (or more) of the following:


We have an idea…

Excellent idea!

Tampa Indie Author Book Convention

A few of us that have been planning this event thought that maybe since this is an indie convention, maybe we should do an indie awards, live in person.

Not the type of awards you’re used to where they pick the best author in their given genre, but instead we reward the people that help us get noticed in the first place. We want to reward the authors, readers and pimpers that go above and beyond to get their favorite authors out there, because without them, we wouldn’t get very far on our own.

It’s just in the planning stages at the moment, but I am thinking it might be a great way to kick off the after party. Before everyone starts drinking. =D

More details to come, but if you know some amazing pimpers, authors, or readers that go out of their way to help the community, please share…

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Released Today! “A Tale of Three Cities” by Alexander McCabe

You may remember the review I did for Mr. McCabe about a week ago. As a reminder, it releases today. Please find the links below:

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Amazon UK – http://goo.gl/iXLUNO
Amazon US – http://goo.gl/UlTOxs
Smashwords – https://goo.gl/vNsohS
Barnes and Noble – http://goo.gl/V2muNx
Kobo – https://goo.gl/Oz0Aar

He is also holding a raffle copter competition to win one of 2 signed paperbacks or 3 ebook copies:

https://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/e3ee7f693/

I’m sure McCabe will appreciate your support. Indie Authors are Awesome!

Book Cover Designs – 5 Resources for Self-Publishers

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Custom Book Cover for Pearls Before Swine by Andre Hawkings, Kenosis Design Innovations

One of the most exciting things for me as a Self-Publisher is the Book Cover reveal, especially if it’s a really neat one. Personally, I like to get an early start on purchasing book covers. It helps me to get that part of the process out of the way, keeps me excited as I polish off the book, secures the cover so that no one else can get it (if its premade), and helps me to schedule the Book Reveal to build momentum. Nonetheless, custom book covers are expensive. To secure a really great cover will run you at least $300+ dollars if you want it done right. There is an alternative however that can save you money and keep your cover looking fresh.

Pre-Made Book Cover Designs

Pre-Made Book Cover Design from Self-Pub for Pearls Before Swine Vol. #2
Pre-Made Book Cover Design from Self-Pub for Pearls Before Swine Vol. #2

As the Self-Publishing Industry blossoms, the web is flooded with resources. Everything from marketing and promotion to editing services and even book cover designs. If you have deep pockets, you’d really be able to take advantage of even paying for marketing and promotion if that’s not your cup of tea, so why not book cover design? After all, we are writers, not designers.

But with the amount of information now available, I realize there is no reason for an unattractive cover. For this reason, I am in the process of re-vamping all of my book covers to look more appealing. So of late, I have been looking to purchase a few book cover designs and found some great resources for Pre-Made designs. I am re-editing my novel and I would like to add a better book cover for the next edition. I am also shopping for a cover for my early poetry books and the third installment of the Stella series.

The great thing about Pre-Made Book Covers is that once you buy them they are no longer available anywhere else, so there’s no reason to be selfish about where you got your covers since no one else will have the exact same one. Pre-Made also does not have to mean amateur looking (though some of them are). But there are lots of striking professional looking covers to match your story at great prices. Just make sure your pre-made cover doesn’t look like a four-year-old did it because those ones exist too.

#1: Fiverr

Number 1 on my list is Fiverr. For those who are not familiar by now, Fiverr is an online service where individuals with various skills hire themselves out at very inexpensive rates. You can purchase editing or Book Cover designs for as low as $5! Now, I warn that you get what you pay for, so it is not wise to purchase a $5 cover (just saying). I would also not recommend them unless you really have to but will list it here first because I know some of our finances will work with this option. Be sure to have additional work done (such as 3D stock images added) by purchasing the sellers additional services. Even still, you can spend under $50 and come out with a great book cover design (and be sure to purchase a back and spine).

#2: Self-Pub Book Covers

Next on my list is Self-Pub Book Covers. I love them! I have so far purchased two of their covers already. To sign up is free and I love their variety. You can pretty much find something that fits your book (especially if you spend hours strolling through every single pic. I know, I’m a bit thorough. OK obsessed, whatever). My only thing with them is that you have to purchase a back and spine at a cost separate from the cover. Even still, you’d come out spending far less than you would a custom cover. (If you can afford a custom cover please do so. It is the best thing. This list is for those of us on budgets).

#3: The Cover Collection

My next favorite is The Cover Collection. I have not worked with them but they have great covers on their site at reasonable prices (I think the prices are in British Pounds so you’ll have to convert that if you’re in the U.S.).

#4: Paper and Sage

Another awesome site is Paper and Sage. Find neat pre-made e-book and print book cover designs at low prices. I’m currently seriously looking at their site. Their variety is good and the covers are professional. You can also order custom made covers through this service.

#5: Author Marketing Club

On this site, you’d get to explore the work of an individual artist who designs their own pre-made covers. If you like one, you will email them through the site but you will buy directly from the artist just as you would if you spoke to them directly. Their prices are also extremely affordable. I’ve seen some really professional looking covers for as low as $20.

PreMade Cover for my 3rd Poetry Book.
PreMade Cover for my 3rd Poetry Book.

This is just a fraction of the number of Pre-Made Book Cover Designs available out there for Self-Publishers. I didn’t include 99 Designs because though the process is off the charts (I really enjoyed working with the various professional artist to see who could make the best cover), it’s not ideal if you are on a budget and falls into the custom book cover category.

The benefit of pre-made covers (if you can’t afford a custom cover) is that they are professionally pre-designed by professional artists who understands exactly how to position the font and combine colors and everything that is important to a cover. With all of this information at our fingertips, there really is no reason for a crappy cover.

Remember: Books are judged by their covers! And in this age of technology, there really is no excuse.

Book Release Trivia Day! Post #2 *GAME TIME*

7424465-120875522_1-v1Yall ready? Here we go:

GAME #1:

Fresh Cup: Since it’s still early, the name of this game is Fresh Cup. Sit down and have a cup of coffee or tea with Stella by winning a Free Coffee Mug when you answer this question correctly. I will take the first 2 commenters to this post:

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Stella’s life takes place during the Jim Crow Laws that forbade African American’s from doing certain things. Name at least two of the things blacks couldn’t do during this time.

*First 2 Answers*

(Winners announced soon…….hurry!)