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Friday, January 30, 2015

HOW TO GET YOUR eBOOK TO GO VIRAL



I THINK YOU WILL LIKE 
MY LATEST BOOK  

GIVE IT A TRY!


SO HOW DO YOU GET YOUR eBOOK TO GO VIRAL?

It is beyond social media.  

You can’t tweet or Facebook yourself into viral status. Your publisher can’t even make it happen. 

 It rarely happens to the common A-list author names – 

 they became A-listers after their viral debut – 

it’s usually something fresh, from a fresh face.

 The criteria for putting your book into a position to go viral 

is almost exactly that associated with getting published in the first place.  


The book has to work.  Really, really well.
 

That said, viral books tend to do a couple of specific things really well:


1.) They are often “high concept” (rather than character-driven, even though they introduce great characters),

with exceptional execution across all the story basics.


2.)  They also deliver something else, almost without exception:  

they seize the inherent compelling power of underlying story physics in ways that exceeds the competition.

These two realms of story –

compelling concept, 

with exceptionally strong underlying essences, is what gets you into the viral game.


YAWN! 

Right?  Isn't that what everyone does?



Not really. 


They don’t address these as goals 


Some authors just write their story, write it well, let it evolve organically, and hope somebody out there gets it.  


This may get them published, but it doesn’t usually get them on Oprah Winfrey.

 The viral book is driven by hero empathy
while delivering a vicarious ride.

  It isn’t the plot, and it isn’t character.  

No, this is about the reader.


 It’s about the reader transporting themselves into this world… going on this ride… feeling it… wanting to be the hero… 

wishing it was them… 

The reader completely engaging in this journey 
on a personal level.

I hope this helps in some small way.



Thursday, January 29, 2015

DOES MAGIC EXIST?


BUT FIRST ...

NOW AVAILABLE FOR PRE-ORDER
ON SALE FEB 1st!


You've heard of the fictional Necronomicon

 But did you know that FIVE MYSTIC TOMES actually exist?


 The Voynich Manuscript

This is the granddaddy of them all. 

Nicknamed “the most mysterious manuscript” 

this collection of nearly 250 pages of ciphered writing

has been capturing people’s imaginations for 500 years!

The text is written in an unknown alphabet that (at least superficially) seems to follow the patterns of a real language.

The book seems to have passed through the hands of alchemists, botanists, nobles, and priests 

before ending up in the rare books collection of Yale University, where it lives today.



 The Rohonc Codex

This text from Hungary dates back at least 200 years and perhaps as much as 500.

 Like the Voynich Manuscript, 

the text is written in an unknown alphabet which is stubbornly resistant to translation. 

There is even quite a bit of debate about what direction the words and pages should be read.



The Devil's Book

 The book is real 

because the Roman Catholic Church officially claims ownership of it, but has never let the public glimpse it. 

It is fact that it was discovered in Jerusalem in 1750, in the tomb of Solomon, written in either Biblical Hebrew or Aramaic. 

The manuscript has not been dated to an earlier time than this, 

or else the Church has not said, but the book itself is inscribed with the date of 1522 AD. 

Theorists claims it was copied in that year from a manuscript written in the 1200s AD or earlier.



 The Book of Soyga

  
It is a 16th century tome of magic that once belonged to John Dee

probably European history’s most famous magician. 

Have no fear, the book does have a section of ciphers, 

but they are only one part of the Latin-langage text 

that covers such metal subjects as spells, angels, and demonology.


The Oera Linda Book

This is the youngest of the texts discussed here (only about 150 years old), 

but it claims to be a record of much older events dating back nearly four thousand years and including wisdom from mythical Atlantis. 

Written in Old Frisian (an early Germanic dialect)

it was recognized as bat-merde crazy from pretty much the first time anyone translated it, 

but you better believe that didn’t stop the Nazis from trying to make something of it. 

The book (which has a good crop of generally nationalist and specifically pro-German components to it) 

even earned the nickname “Himmler’s Bible” for a time, 

because of its important role in some forms of Nazi occultism.

THE LAST DAY OF MAN HAS DAWNED


What to teach our children in such a time?

{Courtesy of 5 Rules}


The time has come to listen to the echoes from our land...

the wisdom and teachings of the mountains, streams, and woods. 

Their words are simple and their voices are soft. 

We have not heard them, because we have not taken the time to listen.

We have been too busy smothering them in crypts of concrete and steel.

 

Perhaps now is the time

 to open our ears and our hearts to their words of wisdom 

whispered on the last winds of this world before the final sunset bleeds across the horizon. 

Only 99 cents - then get the audio for only $1.99!

Join Wolf Howl, the last Lakota shaman

as he leads his hunters from the CIA and the Mossad 

to a killing ground worthy of their deadly skills on the last week of this world.

Can he salvage the bruised soul of a damaged young girl 

and win the heart of the lethal woman he has loved all his life?
Make #WolfHowl a popular hashtag on Twitter, will you?

RETURN OF THE LAST SHAMAN is available for pre-order to go live in FOUR DAYS!

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

BEWARE OF AMAZON ADULT FILTER


BUT FIRST ...

DON'T FORGET TO PRE-ORDER 
RETURN OF THE LAST SHAMAN


The End of the World was Just the Beginning!


AMAZON ADULT FILTER

Denise Covey:

commented on my prior post that Sex Does Sell.  Ah, not with Amazon it doesn't so much anymore.


WHAT IS THE AMAZON ADULT FILTER?


For certain kinds of adult content, Amazon applies what’s often called an “adult filter”

Once a publication is filtered, it stops showing up in some search results:

 for some authors, this has led some best-selling works to drop out of the charts and become poor or middling performers. 

 This dramatic effect on sales makes the filter a big concern for anyone publishing erotica or erotic romance.


WHAT HAPPENS TO SOMETHING THAT GETS FILTERED?

 It no longer shows up in the results for searches that are performed from the main search on the Amazon site. 

 It seems that a lot of users search from the main search bar on Amazon’s site. 

 Another, less obvious effect, is that even when they’re included in search results, filtered works seem to come in below unfiltered books. 

That means 

that if there are unfiltered books with the same keywords as your filtered piece, you won’t ever be at the top of the search results — 

and might even show up two or three pages later, 

meaning that very few users might actually see your lovely cover and compelling title.

 This effect also extends to Also-Boughts, the list of books that “other Amazon customers also bought” on each book’s page. 


WHAT GETS FILTERED?

  
Most of the filtering seems to concentrate on content that is close to banned content, without actually crossing the line.

Covers can be a problem, too. 

“Hand bra” covers, 

where the model covers her otherwise naked breasts with her hands, are usually filtered; 

if something else keeps those boobs in check, that’s (usually) fine, 

but if it’s just the hands, it’ll (usually) be filtered.



YIKES!  HOW DO I KNOW IF MY TITLE HAS BEEN FILTERED?


You can start by searching for the author or title of the book on the main search bar on the Amazon.com site.

 But the best way to find out is to use the tracking tool available on SalesRankExpress

When you track a book on this site, not only do you get a wealth of information about the book,

 it also tells you if a book is filtered: the word ADULT appears in red after the title.


I JUST WRITE THIS 
TO KEEP MY FRIENDS 

FROM LOOKING FOR HOPE IN STILETTO HEELS 

AND BREAKING THEIR OWN HEARTS 
AND THEIR DREAMS.


Tuesday, January 27, 2015

SURE FIRE WAYS TO A BEST SELLER!



THE ALCHEMY OF A BEST SELLER

We all want there to be a secret formula to produce a bestseller, to become the next JK Rowling.

We all know the conventional wisdom -

1.) Market ourselves on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram'
    
 Sadly, those waters are more crowded than a public swimming pool in Hell.  You're just one of a million bobbing heads in the cyber-waters.

2.) Craft a Hook of a Title -
     
FRENCH QUARTER NOCTURNE

DEATH IN THE HOUSE OF LIFE
     
Want to know how many copies of those I've sold?  Don't ask. 

But that doesn't mean you just toss in the towel.  Be creative with your title:

      a.) Pick your title BEFORE you begin (you'll be with your novel for weeks so have a title that inspires you!

      b.) It's a marriage - LOVE YOUR TITLE

      I. What a great title does:

            1.) Captures your audience’s attention
            2.) It communicates what your e-book is about
            3.) If it’s your style, it should include a little bit of a “What the Heck?” factor:
                      
Titles tell your audience a little something about you.
Look at these three sets of words:
  • Epic; Awesome.
  • Remarkable; Brilliant.
  • Elegant; Erudite
Each pair of words has a unique flavor. 

You can almost begin to see the people that would use them in a title or a headline.

Which means that the words in your e-book title need to reflect your style.

       II.) WHO'S AN OXYMORON?~!

           i.) EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE was a great title to an older book because it linked two opposites.

           ii.) Startle your reader and snare his attention.

3.) Have a killer cover -
     Leonora Roy has done riveting covers one after another for me. 
      
Think the "why" of a great cover:

You can choose a proper image for the book cover that will draw attention to your eBook.

     a.) You need to choose the proper thumbnail with a theme that reflects the contents of your eBook.

     b.) Many readers will be drawn to the book cover long before reading the description and the reviews.

     c.) It helps if you have a book cover that instantly draws attention.

4.) Write a riveting novel
     
Sandra, my most caustic reader, says DEATH held her spellbound.
     
They say sex sells.  But not so much anymore.

Be creative in the take on your novel.  Put a cliche on its ear.  

And add laughter, for there is not enough of it these days.

Or give the audience what they think they want PLUS insightful prose as in:


{In Whip Smart

Melissa Febos
chronicles five years in her early twenties
when she was a dominatrix and heroin user.

But the book is about so much more than those details.

It’s about living a lie:
sometimes many lies at once.

It’s about lying to yourself.
And it’s about discovering truths about yourself in places you never expected.}


So what do we do to write a bestseller?


WE HAVE TO GET NOTICED!

Yes, we have to have polished formatting, professional editing, and a storyline that catches the reader and will not let her go.

And we have to have the all important WORD OF MOUTH ...
     
But to have that, first we must have a string of mouths singing our novel's praises.  In other words ...

WE HAVE TO GET NOTICED!

I don't mean use the right keywords in the title and subtitle of your book. 

 That's an old trick. 


And do you know how many books out there have ZOMBIE, VAMPIRE, and LUST in their titles?

So many people abused Tags, Amazon has removed them.

SO HOW TO GET NOTICED?

1. Identify your audience.

This is a vital step in the promotion and marketing of your book, 

and–if done right–will make the rest of the process infinitely easier.

Find out who your book appeals to, get to know those people well, and be where they are, both online and off.


2. Establish a budget.

How much money are you able and willing to spend marketing and promoting your book?

Include everything from paid advertising to travel costs. 

 If you're broke like me, you will have to be very creative.



3. Create a marketing plan.

How much time can you devote to establishing and maintaining your book promotion strategies?

What marketing tactics do you intend on implementing first? What are your goals and how will you measure them?



4. Get creative.


Use your book’s theme, location, or time period for inspiration and making marketing connections. 

A character’s hobbies, occupation, lifestyle, values and interests can be jumping off points for developing promotional strategies.

Brainstorm (with Google), companies, experts, businesses, organizations or groups that you can approach for joint marketing ventures.


5. Tell your author brand story. 


Write an author biography that briefly defines your reason for being;

 keep it to two or three short but memorable paragraphs that will resonate with your readers.

Better yet: make it one paragraph. Show some personality and give your readers a reason to care.



6. Create your hook

Make it short as in mine for THE RETURN OF THE LAST SHAMAN


 http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00S7HOCVG


 The End of the World Was Just The Beginning.


7. Write a series.


Obviously this won’t work for every author or book, 

but when possible, creating a series is a very powerful and effective way to develop a presence,

gain reader loyalty and boost sales of earlier works with subsequent novels.
 

8. Advertise your previous works in each book you publish.


 One of the best places to advertise your previous work is at the end of your current book, 

where you’ve got a happy reader, eager for more.


9. Tempt your readers with more.


Insert sample chapters from the next book in a series at the end of your current book to pull your readers in.

And don't forget to pre-order 
RETURN OF THE LAST SHAMAN!



Monday, January 26, 2015

ROLAND'S 8 SIMPLE RULES_Share Your Thoughts Blog Hop




Hosted by Jamie Ayres to celebrate the release of 18 Thoughts, the third installment in the "My So-Called Afterlife trilogy."

 Jamie says:

"Each person participating will post a thought (belief) that has defined their life, their way of thinking. Post up to 18 if you’re feeling adventurous and post any time between Jan. 21 and Jan. 28. I’ll pick 2-3 winners each day."



Upon reading about Jamie's bloghop on Alex's own fine blog:
http://alexjcavanaugh.blogspot.com/2015/01/2015-to-z-challenge-list-open-what-are.html

I decided to write about my own 8 Simple Rules -- not for reward --

Like my hero, Victor Standish, I run for the fun not the glory --

lucky for me, considering my dismal sales!!



Some years back, I read an article entitled "Rules That Warren Buffet Lives By."

 No, not the guy who sings "Margaritaville." 

Though I suspect Jimmy has more fun than Warren despite Warren being one of the wealthiest men in the world.

There was obvious merit to them. He didn't get the wealth he has by chasing the wind.


 But the phrase "lives by" bothered me. As King Solomon wrote: 

"Wisdom is a shelter as money is a shelter. The advantage to wisdom is that it also remains when all else is gone."

And in thinking about that quote, the time came to mind when my home had burned to the ground. 


My dog, my cat, my possessions 

{the most dear being the Bible my mother had given me with her thoughts, doubts, and funny one-liners scribbled in the margins} were gone. 

My savings had been wiped out by trying to pay my mother's medical bills from her fatal struggle with cancer 

so there had been no home insurance. 

My face and hands were badly burned from crawling back into my house in a vain effort to save my cat. 

I was living in the back of a massage school, courtesy of a good friend.

I remember sitting on the corner of the bed, after having talked to my best friend, Sandra Thrasher


She and I had our stores next to one another for years in the Mall. 

After she had moved out of the Mall, we remained close friends. She helped save my sanity in that black time. 

And another thing saved it: remembering something Viktor Frankl had learned in a Nazi concentration camp :

 

"Everything can be taken from a man or a woman but one thing: the last of human freedoms to choose one's attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one's own way."
 

I also remembered reading in that day's newspaper that the TV show EIGHT SIMPLE RULES had just gone into pre-production. 

And it puzzled me what I would say were my EIGHT SIMPLE RULES to live by. 

I took out the only scrap of paper I had to my name, a Hallmark store envelope from the "Thank You" card I had bought for Sandra. 

I thought for a good bit, then I wrote them down.

I thought you might be interested in what they were. So here they are.
 

Roland's EIGHT SIMPLE RULES:

1) Since everyone is having a harder time than they appear, 


be as kind as you can to each person you meet. You'd feel really lousy if you had made a bad day worse for someone who had been through the wringer, wouldn't you?


2) When faced with two paths, the more uncomfortable one is usually the right one to take.  


And try not to hurry so down whatever path you take. If you're heading in the wrong direction, going faster won't get you where you want to go any sooner.

3) When faced with a major decision, take overnight to decide.  


If pressed by someone to make an immediate one, always say "No." If they don't want you to have time to think it over, guess to whose benefit that is?

4) No battle goes as planned. Especially the Battle called Life.  



Expect things to go wrong. That way if they go right, you'll be pleasantly surprised.

 Commit yourself to staying flexible. Bouncing is better than breaking. And as no battle goes as fast as you'd want, learn to be patient or you'll become one.

5) If you treat people as extensions of yourself, you will always be lonely, 


for you will become the way you look at life -- alone in the sandbox of life with unfeeling toys called people.

6) Don't get mad at the sun for being hot. 


People will always be true to their natures. It's not their fault you mistook their iron for steel. So don't get mad at the rust in the lives of others. 

Don't blame the rain for being wet. Just get an umbrella and get on with it already.

7) Always keep your walk in sync with your talk. 


Divorce your ways from from your words, and the alimony payments will be bitter indeed.

8) Always stand up to a bully. Always deny him what he demands. 


Yes, you will get beat up more times than you want. But physical bruises heal. Some emotional ones never do. 

If you let them, bullies steal that which is difficult to replace: self-respect, pride, affection for yourself {and in turn, for others - one stems from the other}, and inner peace.

*) What did Susan Sontag say? 


"I envy paranoids. They actually feel people are paying attention to them." 

Hope someone is paying attention to this list and gets some use out of it. If only to laugh.  

For Chrys Fey:


* Hurricane Crimes (short story)

* 30 Seconds (novella) NEW!

Read Six Pages Now - http://bit.ly/1yiFdqz

PSSS! CAN YOU KEEP A SECRET? THERE'S A NEAT CONTEST TO SNARE AN AGENT'S EYE!







Marisa Cleveland is hosting a first page critique contest!
https://marisacleveland.wordpress.com/2015/01/25/promoted-so-contest/

Literary assistant Lane Heymont has been promoted to junior agent with The Seymour Agency! 




You can read his new profile here:
 http://www.theseymouragency.com/About-Us.html.

 The rules are simple.
– Polish your first page
– Enter the Rafflecopter contest




It’s that easy! But it’s also completely random.

Here are the details:

– At the end of the contest, Rafflecopter will randomly generate five winners
 

Marisa will email the five winners with congratulations and specific instructions on how to submit their first page to Lane
 

Lane will provide a detailed critique on that first page

including what caught his interest, if he’d like to read more, or why he would pass on offering representation.

WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR?  ENTER!!