An Alternative to ACX for Audiobook Production and Distribution – Jane Friedman

Has anyone tried ListenUp for audiobook production? It sounds interesting, though the upfront cost is pretty STEEP. lol. Aside from the service itself, I like what they said about Audiobook sales being dependent on the success of the book in print and digital format. Gave me a new perspective on how to approach audiobooks. My favorite quote:

“Audiobook sales are still dependent on the success of a book in its print or digital format. It’s helpful for authors to think of the audiobook as another edition of their book, extending its presence and reach. So when a reader goes to buy it, every option is available to them. At the same time, when an author promotes a book, there will likely be a spike in sales of all editions. Running an advertisement for a discount on an ebook through a service like BookBub has been shown to increase audio as well as ebook sales.

Much like promoting an ebook or print book, authors should offer review copies to bloggers, reviewers, and social media influencers who have significant reach. For the audiobook, authors should focus on reviewers who regularly review audiobooks and can touch on both the story and the narration.

Check out the interview and entire post HERE. Browse LisenUp’s website HERE.

If any of you have tried it, how is it? Do you like it better than ACX? Does the cost measure up to the service?

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Indie Authors and Controversial Posts – Should You? Should You Not?

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DISCLAIMER: This is simply my own opinion. I also stress throughout the post that no one has the right to be disrespectful. Writing is a business and publishing books is a career move. I always encourage you to use wisdom in all that you do. Even if you are speaking truth, don’t put people down. That’s not wise.


I think it boils down to why you write in the first place and what you hope to gain from it. It should be a personal choice, not a commandment.

I understand why people propose you don’t post about super controversial topics. The reasons are obvious and have been stated repeatedly already. I won’t bore you with a regurgitation of the facts (see disclaimer.) But at the same time, I don’t understand why some propose Indies stay clear of it altogether. Even if it can help others. I think about what it means to be a writer. For me, this is not a job. It’s much more.

I know most people don’t take blogs and bloggers seriously, but when it comes to writing, it’s not like the 9-5 you go to every day where there are rules, regulations, and guidelines you must live by. Let me put this in perspective.

I am a part-time teacher as well as an author. I know what it means to go into a place that already has a set standard and to clock in and out.

I blog and I write books but when I am not doing this, I am teaching.

To teach, you have to be certified, have the educational background and follow the governmental guidelines necessary to do so. There is already a schedule, a curriculum, etc. (It is why one day, I would like to open my own school. I try not to do anything without an ultimate end goal.)

When I think about being an author, on the other hand, I think of having a much greater freedom than working a 9-5. The freedom to own my own and to speak the truth. Now, there are some that say that because this is a business (writing is) you shouldn’t talk about things that are controversial because you’ll lose readers. Perhaps it is a matter of perspective because I do not think of it this way.

Losing readers for cursing people out is one thing. Losing readers because you are rude and arrogant and just don’t care is one thing. Professionalism is important. If you don’t know how to talk to people, perhaps you shouldn’t be in business.

On the other hand…

If I lose readers for being real. If I lose readers because they cannot stomach the truth I have to offer. If I lose readers because they do not agree with me, then they were not my readers, to begin with. If I lose these people because I decided to be real and they didn’t like it, then they were not part of my target audience in the first place. I know it sounds harsh, but I see a lot of Traditionally Published authors speaking their minds too  and writing their truths. I see a lot of them using their platform to raise awareness of social injustice and other things. There’s a lot they say that can be considered controversial and it seems that for Independent Artists there should be more freedom.  It is only when I get to Independent / Self-Publishing that I hear this talk about how we should, in short, censor ourselves and I understand the need for it but only to an extent.

Using wisdom is one thing, I understand that. In the words of my father-in-law, “Don’t be a fool your whole life.” However, using your art to expand conversations and to raise awareness cannot be done without some inkling of controversy.  Someone somewhere is going to disagree with you. The whole point of writing, it seems to be, is to ultimately expand the conversation of the book. To not speak about your thoughts concerning the political, religious or social climate of today, to censor this in fear of losing readers, doesn’t make any sense to me. Why are you alive?

If I am going to write then I am going to write the truth and if people feel that it is a truth they cannot accept then they weren’t part of the chosen few I was meant to reach in the first place. I have long given up trying to save the world. I am not that naive anymore. I am only trying to reach those who are interested.

I am not saying to be disrespectful. Be choice with your words. That’s important and I’ve spoken about that a lot on this blog. I am only saying that if you are truly speaking the truth you are going to offend someone somewhere sometimes and that it’s not something you can control. If your job is not to offend anyone, where does that leave you? You may as well go work for someone else.

Listen, my intent is not to offend but it’s inevitable that when telling the truth you will annoy someone. To spend my life writing trying not to do so is to not do my job. In case you haven’t already noticed, I do not write to get rich. I don’t care about being famous, political correctness and offending people who can’t handle the truth and all that. It would be nice for my books to reach a large audience of course, but that is not why I write.

“To avoid criticism say nothing, do nothing, be nothing.” – Elbert Hubbard

Writers: Are You Ready To Sign With An Independent Publisher? Read This First #AmWriting

Yes Yes and Yes! I was just working on a guest article covering this same subject. Please, authors, do your research. Don’t let the perceived prestige of “being signed” get you scammed! Times have changed and there’s a lot you can do yourself.

Rosie Amber

Please welcome review team member Terry Tyler, with some important thoughts on Independent Publishers

Please note: I am aware that there are plenty of good independent publishers around, who work hard for their authors and maintain good standards. The purpose of this article is to warn writers to do their research, and find them. It’s a warning not to fall prey to either the blatant conmen, or the inept.

Ten years ago, Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing was launched.  Since then, thousands of scammers and cowboys have emerged from the murky corners of the internet to make a quick quid out of the millions of writers who’ve been tapping away at the keys for years, and are delighted that they can finally get their work in front of the reading public without a contract from a traditional publisher. These scammers include: proofreaders who don’t know how to punctuate, editors…

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Yecheilyah’s Book Reviews – Southern Horror Stories by Lisa W. Tetting

Title: Southern Horror Stories

Author: Lisa W. Tetting

Print Length: 68 pages

Publication Date: October 26, 2017

Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC

ASIN: B076WW49KN

*I received a copy of this book as a gift from the author*

Almost 400 years ago, the first enslaved Blacks, arrived in the Virginia colony at Point Comfort on the James River. Spanish records suggest that the enslaved were captured in the Portuguese colony of Angola. At first, the number of enslaved taken was small. In about 1650, however, with the development of plantations on the newly colonized Caribbean Islands and American mainland, the trade grew.

But what if things had turned out differently? What if the enslaved could exact immediate vengeance on their oppressors and gain their freedom with help from the ancestors? That is essentially the theme connecting six short stories in Lisa W. Tetting’s short story collection, Southern Horror Stories.

Each story begins with a tragedy familiar to that of Chattel Slavery. In Barren Plantation, Pansy witnesses the death of her baby girl immediately after giving birth. Afterward, the woman bathes in the child’s blood, soaking up the energy and begins to hear chanting in a foreign language. She essentially becomes possessed and starts chanting along with the voices until an entity arrives to give her word on her next move. She is to save the other children on the plantation in a most chilling way.

In Caleb’s Stitches, children of the enslaved go missing, in Mind of Hope a girl witnesses the beating death of her mother and shooting of her father and is instructed by the ancestors on how to get revenge for her parents. And in Underground Hell Road the slaves have overtaken the plantation in an intelligent plan to create a portal to freedom. All of the stories involve the enslaved receiving guidance from the ancestors on how to strike back at those who hurt them.

I loved most the connection between the stories. Linking Barren Plantation and Caleb’s Stitches was brilliant and so was the connection between Slave Island and Pirates of Slavery. I would also love to see Underground Hell Road fleshed out into a full-length novel with elements of the other stories possibly weaved in. I love the idea of the plantation being a way for the slaves to transition their way to freedom and would love to read a full novel on the concept.

I loved least some of the familiarity between the names. In Caleb’s Stitches, it seems the Master and Mistress has the same name. I got confused between Masa Henry and Mistress Henry. I also found Caleb’s knowledge of the science she needed to do what she did a bit hard to believe. Caleb became an expert from reading Dr. Vulcavick’s research but I would think she would have needed a lot more training to successfully remove body parts and would have needed to know more than most of the words to comprehend the complexity of scientific research (which is different than recreational reading.) What she did with these body parts was hilarious though if I must say. You’ll have to read the book to find out more.

Southern Horror Stories is an easy and entertaining read that is not recommended for children (though with the author’s talent, I can easily see a PG version of the stories to help youth understand about the horrors of slavery). Lisa’s writing style is lovely and easy to understand.

Plot Movement / Strength: 4/5

Entertainment Factor: 5/5

Characterization: 4/5

Authenticity / Believable: 4/5

Thought Provoking: 5/5

Overall: 4/5

Southern Horror Stories is Available Now on Amazon

Connect with Lisa Online!

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Indie Authors: Stop Giving Away Your Books for Free – Angela Ford

Check out this article by Angela Ford on giving away your books for free. I’ve never been comfortable giving away my books except to my ARC / Beta Readers so I find her perspective interesting. I would love to hear other’s opinion on it though and to be provided with more resources to support the article. The comment left on the post poses a good question too.

What about you? Do you think authors should give their books away for free? Why or why not?

“In the indie author community, there’s a false mindset you have to give your books away for free before people will be willing to purchase them. If the first book in your series is free, someone will pay $0.99, $2.99 and even $5.99 for your full priced books. In truth, I’ve been seeing the opposite effect and heard from indie authors who have had the same experience. Here are some examples…”

Click through to the ORIGINAL post HERE

New Page for Introduce Yourself Author Feature + How Guest Posting Can Help You Win

As we approach the end of the year, I am doing what I always do at this time. Revisit my pages, update them, move some things around and maybe change my theme. In doing so, I’ve compiled all the Introduce Yourself Interviews and stored them away on their own page. You can now easily access the author’s interview using the Introduce Yourself Author Interview page. If you are one of the featured authors, you can also easily access your feature if you need to copy and paste your link or share it.

As a reminder, I am still looking for authors interested in being interviewed by me on this page. When I took that extensive break the feature slowed down but I am now ready to start scheduling again. AND if I missed you, please resend your information to my email HERE.

Interviews are published every Monday (being it’s already Sunday afternoon here whether we have one tomorrow will depend on how early I get some questions in).

Here are some benefits of being featured on someone’s blog:

Whether you are guest blogging or being interviewed, promoted or featured, as a guest your work is introduced to a NEW audience. This gives people who have never heard of you or your books an opportunity to learn more about you, follow your blog and check out your social media pages.

I’ve heard it said that guest posting is FIVE TIMES GREATER than posting to your own blog. Now, I am not sure how accurate that is but I do know from experience that guest posting gives you the opportunity to connect with a new group of people and to share your expertise or skill. If you wrote a book, I believe you are an expert on the subject matter that you are writing or have written about. In fact, I believe we are all experts in some way. Everyone is a genius when we focus on our own individual gifts. We have all been given something special that others can learn from.

You could have been blogging for five years and promote your books the whole time only to find out, after posting to someone else blog, that few people knew you existed. That’s the power of networking. Being featured on someone’s blog is stepping outside the box. If you’ve been blogging longer than one year, chances are you are already comfortable with your own blog. If you want to continue this growth, step outside your comfort zone and introduce your books to a new audience. Why not start here? Whenever I publish an Introduce Yourself Feature, it always becomes the most viewed page on my site for that week and a few authors have even informed me that they have sold a book or two.

VISIT THE ORIGINAL POST HERE TO GET STARTED

and Remember, this feature is FREE.

Not interested in an interview but have books to promote? Just shoot me an email with your covers, links, bio, and release date. I’ll be happy to help you to spread the word!

Note: If you have any trouble with the email link or emailing me in general, use the contact page.


Yecheilyah (e-see-lee-yah) is an Author, Blogger, and Poet of nine published works including Renaissance: The Nora White Story (Book One), her latest novel available now on Amazon.com. Learn more by exploring Yecheilyah’s writing on this blog and her website at  yecheilyahysrayl.com.

Self-Publishing: Don’t Forget to Set Up Your Author Central Page

Got an easy-peasy-lemon-squeezy reminder for you after purchasing an author’s book and clicking on their name and not finding any information on them.

If you have not already, don’t forget to set up your Author Central Page.

Author Central is your author page on Amazon. If this is set up, readers and supporters can click on your name under your book as seen below…

And be taken to a page that looks like this….

There’s an author photo, bio, display of all the books you have on Amazon next to your photo as well as at the bottom. You can also add your blog feed to your page and videos as I did. This you will find under Author Updates.

Getting Started

First, go to https://authorcentral.amazon.com/ and sign in.

Once you’ve signed in, you should see this page.

It’s straightforward from here. Let’s get a closer look.

There, better. Under Update your Author Page, click on Amazon Author Page.

After you click on Amazon Author Page you will be taken to another page as seen below.

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Click on edit biography to edit the bio and follow the instructions under Blogs to add your blog feed. Also, to your far right of this page you’ll see Author Page URL as seen below.

Use this link to share your Amazon Author page. Copy and paste the link and save it.

(If I am not mistaken I don’t think it will automatically have your name on the end of the URL so be sure to edit the link before you share it.)

This part is also where you can add photos or videos like book trailers.

Add Books

Go back to the Author Central page and click on View and Edit our List of Books.

You will be taken to this page. If you have no books added this will be empty. Click on Add More Books.

A box will come up. Search for your book on Amazon either by Title, your Author Name or ISBN and it will come up. Click add.

Once you are finished with your page, two things will change.

  1. People who click on your name under your book on Amazon will be taken to your Author page which will look more professional.

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2. Your biography (see above) on the book page will no longer be empty. Readers can now scroll down on your book page on Amazon and see your Author Photo and your bio. They can also choose to follow you. The same author photo and bio you entered for your page is the same author photo and bio that shows up at the bottom.


Yecheilyah (e-see-lee-yah) is an Author, Blogger, and Poet. Her latest novel, The Nora White Story (Book One) is available now on Amazon.com. Learn more by following this blog and visiting Yecheilyah’s website at  yecheilyahysrayl.com.