Friday, February 21, 2014

An easy way to add video to your author repertoire

Ever checkout all of those links on Facebook and Twitter? Most of them link to some cute video of cats playing, awesomely stupid people, or short instructive videos on how to solve a pressing problem. The only problem is, shooting video takes time, money, and something else I don't have - talent.

So what's a guy like me supposed to do?

Fiverr seems to be my answer to everything these days. I had designers there create two videos for me. The first was an introduction to my book, Freaking Idiots Guide to Writing a Kindle Bestseller. I had Fiverr's premiere puppeteer, Professor Hans Von Puppet introduce my book. It was unique, funny, and the really great thing at the time was, I was able to show it on my Kindle book page. I'm sure it helped sell a lot of books. Those were the good old days. Amazon doesn't let you do that anymore unless you're a big name author. Doesn't matter. I've still got that video on my Amazon Author Central page. You can check it out there.

You can check out that video here.

I also had another Fiverr seller create a whiteboard video for me. It's got a little music, some cool graphics and a short description of several of my books, along with pictures of their covers.

You can check it out here.

The really great thing is I was able to snag some great promotional videos for under twenty-five bucks each. How can you go wrong?

Give Fiverr a try. It will help spice up your author page and writer blog or website.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Have you tried Babelcube?

Do you want to sell more books? Are you trying to reach a larger market? Would your books sell more copies in foreign markets if you had them translated into that language?

Babelcube could be the answer to all of these questions, and the great thing is - It's free!

Babelcube connects writers with translators. It's easy to use. Just post your profile, upload information about your books, and wait for independent translators to contact you. For authors, there's no cost up front. Babelcube handles all of the details and splits the profits between you, the translator, and of course, a small cut for the house.

Commissions are based on how much revenue your books take in. Babelcube receives 15% for brokering the deal. Your split ranges from 30% to 75% depending on how many copies your book sells and the revenue generated. You receive 30% of revenues for sales under $2,000, and 75% for sales over $8,000. Similar to Amazon, they pay sixty days after sales are made. One caveat, your payment needs to be $50.00 or greater to receive a payment for the month.To view the complete royalty schedule, click here.

They currently offer translation services into Spanish, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Japanese, and Chinese. 

I uploaded my profiles today and posted five books that I would like to see translated. Within twelve hours I inked deals to have four of my eBay books translated into Spanish by two different translators. Three of the projects will be ready to sell in twenty days, the final one will be ready in thirty days.

I will keep you updated on how things progress.

Review: Show Don’t Tell, The Ultimate Writer’s Guide By Robyn Opie Parnell

 This isn’t the first time you’ve heard it. If you want to draw your readers into the action and make them care about your characters, you’ve got to show, not tell.
The only question is what does it mean?
Showing means engaging your reader’s senses. What are they feeling? Don’t say George felt cold. Show him shivering. Talk about the freezing wet snow seeping through his socks. What are they seeing? Don’t just say he saw a beautiful girl. Show your readers what caught his eye. Was it her golden blond hair? Her firm, warm breasts? Her long slender legs? How about smells? Does your character smell fresh cut grass, burning leaves, or wet dog smell? Make sure your readers smell it too. How do your characters feel? Don’t say they’re scared. Show your main character cringing when the doors in a spooky old house are creaking. Make them jump when thunder crashes, or a lightning bolt flashes nearby.
Are you beginning to get the idea? Don’t tell your readers what to think. Give them clues about what your characters are seeing, feeling, or thinking; then leave it up to your reader’s imaginations to fill in the gaps.

Telling is reciting the plain dull facts. See Dick run. See Jane throw the ball. See Spot chase the stick. Telling dumps information on your reader and tells them what to think. It has its place to occasionally slow the action down, or to fill in the details. The thing to remember is telling is boring. It doesn’t engage readers or make them root for your character.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Review: How to Get Reviews so You Can Sell More Books on Amazon by E. T. Barton

I was on the line about this book, bouncing back and forth between giving it a four and five-star review.

It’s well written, hast great content, and a lot of actionable info that authors can put to use as soon as they finish reading. So, why was I so wishy-washy about it then? As the author says, a lot of her ideas border on being unethical.

Let’s talk about the good things first.

We all know that books need reviews to sell better and move up through the ranks at Amazon. We also know that getting readers to review books is a lot like getting a kid to go to the dentist voluntarily. It’s not going to happen. When they finish reading your book, more like, if they finish reading your book, most readers figure they’re done. They completed the bargain they made with you. They downloaded your free book, maybe some of them even paid for it. They read it or skimmed through the juicy parts, now they want to move on. And, you’re asking for a review. What nerve?