Fiverr Spotlight: Louise Wise

Here’s another shining star on Fiverr. Louise reminded me of one of those tell-it-like-it-is aunties. The self-proclaimed Indie Author Champion was super communicative and not afraid to give her opinion. She took it upon herself to help make my blurb a little smoother, even though that wasn’t part of the gig description (she has another gig for that). We had a great back-and-forth badminton messaging, swapping revised lines with what we each thought was a better way to convey them AND the mood of Chaos (un)Controlled, until we were completely on the same page in agreement. Five dollars got me her experienced blurb assistance, Twitter and Facebook posts, as well as a post on her blog here. A bonus attached to her tweets is that she’s part of Triberr, which means others in the tribe also tweet it as well! Definitely a high-value gig that makes you feel cared for.

https://www.fiverr.com/louise_wise/promote-your-book-on-my-blog-and-tweet?funnel=96b03bea-7f22-46c3-b6aa-c972f91a72fd

~Tael

Promo Pitfalls

Leave it to me to be your guinea pig for those affordable promos! Here’s some I’ve tried and will avoid using again in the future.

-eBooks Habit:

Took me awhile to even qualify to promote with them, as they require 5+ reviews on Amazon. The unforgivable mistake they made was not getting the book title correct in their tweets. But I gave it to you in the order. But you put the book on your site correctly. And you have the Amazon link to buy it. And it’s in the confirmation email you sent me. And I emailed them back letting them know they got it wrong. And I haven’t heard back so they likely don’t care. So I wasted my money on a blown promo. Not even going to make a big deal about it to them and demand a refund or corrected tweets. SCRATCHED.

-eBook Skill:

I actually used the free service option with no results. The problem is that they now email me exhibiting spammer behavior. I work in email marketing; I know the signs. I get emails from multiple From Names or From Emails, all with their same structure and branding. They send me offers for THE SECRET LIMITED EDITION AUTHOR REPORT THAT WILL CHANGE YOUR LIFE AND TAKE YOU TO THE TOP OF THE AMAZON RANKING THAT WILL ONLY BE AVAILABLE TO THE FIRST 100 PEOPLE WHO CLICK NOW AND BUY, HURRY! They pepper my inbox with discounts and sales and new options, essentially begging me to use their upgraded promotion packages. Perhaps it’s just standard marketing technique, but I hate a hard sell. I have come to distrust promotion sites that constantly advertise for you to promote with them. They seem to have the least ROI.

-Books & The Bear:

This one doesn’t pop up on the lists of book promo sites you’ll find online like the others. I found them through a Google search, and while their page looks impressive, once again, terrible ROI despite their high claims. When perusing their social media, I noticed that only half their posts are author’s book promotions. The other half is literally them promoting…THEMSELVES. I can’t imagine too many actual readers would even want to follow them because of the constant barrage of their own advertisements, “AUTHORS, PROMOTE YOUR BOOK TO OVER 200,000 READERS,” or “INCREASE YOUR BOOK SALES NOW AND PUBLICIZE WITH US,” literally every HOUR. Definitely more business first, author promotion second.

Also find below one of the “Fiverr Gigs That Don’t Do A Damn Thing” that I encountered:

-psammie – Their “I Will professionally Promote Your Book on Social Media” gig lives up to none of its claims. They actually had the nerve to message me this: psammie

So you’re saying that, although I paid for a service, without a 5 star-rating, you won’t be very motivated to continue through it’s completion? I left them nothing.

Guinea-pig-ninja, OUT.

~Tael

Fiverr Spotlight: Andrea Coventry

Last honorable mention went to the great okomota! This time I’m highlighting an awesome gig any Indie Author utilizing Fiverr should purchase. You can check the gig below:

https://www.fiverr.com/andreacoventry/promote-your-young-adult-book?funnel=c2d56cf0-a435-447c-94d3-2c549725f9c5

Five dollars got me a spot on both her Young Adult Blog here and her other book blog here. (Be advised that she does note at the bottom of the page that the post was commissioned through Fiverr). On top of that, she tweeted my book numerous times, generating a great amount of likes and retweets, as well as a Facebook post with awesome engagement. She’s a wonderful example of a Fiverr NON-hustler that goes above and beyond. Great value! I would most certainly use again! 😀

~Tael

RAWR Moments: KDP

Indie Authors inevitably do a hell of a lot of bumbling. Choosing a platform to self-publish with is one of the many first steps. There are a slew of reasons to choose Amazon, including the fact that many online promotion sites exclusively use their affiliate links and their reach is massive. I’m already an avid Primer; I order everything off Amazon from jeans to birthday gifts to kitty litter. It’s my go-to site whenever I’m looking to purchase something online; I’ll even find it somewhere on the Internet first, then search the exact product title on Amazon to see if I can get it there. I have their credit card, so I try to rack up loyalty points. Why isn’t everything on their streaming service free to Primers damn it?? Anyway, it’s a great way to go for self-publishing, but with no one to hold your hand through the process, there can be some hair-tearing moments.

First, with the advent of ebooks, KDP is largely focused on just that. Paperbacks take a backseat in this day and age even though some of us diehards who prefer to feel those pages still exist. Amazon has two options for printing paperbacks: CreateSpace and KDP. The problem is that even though they’re both under the Amazon umbrella, they’re still separate. KDP is the newer “beta” printing version that lists your stats alongside your ebook stats all on one page together. Nifty concept, but KDP has glitches that give CreateSpace the bigger fanbase. Only thing is, when you’re setting up the whole KDP thing initially, there isn’t a big “CLICK HERE TO CHOOSE BETWEEN KDP OR CREATESPACE FOR YOUR PRINT VERSION” button. You go with what’s there because it’s a print option available on the same platform as your ebook. I didn’t immediately find it clear that there was another option I could have chosen during setup, or that there was a clear reason to look into the other option, for that matter. That may be the trap for those who chose to self-publish after KDP printing was rolled out last year. You assume they’re all melded together somehow, but once you choose KDP, apparently you cannot switch over to CreateSpace. You’re now locked in.

Some people hate that you can’t order free/discounted author copies with KDP, but I don’t mind paying for my own book. But a lot of formatters don’t know how to work with KDP, only CreateSpace, and apparently formatting between the two varies to a high degree for whatever reason. Then there’s the glitchy uploading process. Loading the Print Previewer takes fooooooorrrrrreeeeeeverrrrrrr and often times out. If it’s still attempting to load after 10 minutes, I cancel and try to restart because I know it’s stalled. Then, once it does load, it can be veeeeerrryyyyy finicky. It may throw up an error that your image isn’t 300 DPI when it is. It may show you an older version of your manuscript even though if you open the file on your desktop, it’s already revised. It might tell you that your cover image doesn’t meet the trim requirements, then NOT throw that error if you re-upload the exact same file. Sometimes it just drops your cover altogether even if you didn’t touch it, and you have to re-upload it all over again, and then the cover upload stalls because it just wants to misbehave right now and you should try back in a few hours, even though IT WAS JUST WORKING.

Their rather antiquated beta templates for your trim sizes seem to be the best headache-free way to go, unless you hand over your manuscript to an editor for revisions and they screw over your margins and gutter formatting. I’m currently uploading a Word Document, because I like the freedom of being able to jump in and make a quick correction if pointed out to me, and then re-upload. I also prefer Eccentric Simplicity.

But the fact is, the print uploader for KDP can make the whole process a head-banging challenge (and no, not the party hard rock music kind). Even just little changes or quick revisions can become a nightmare. For days I’ve been trying to get my manuscript updated because I thought it would be cute to have chapter headers at the top of each page. I enlisted the aid of Fiverr and was met by hustlers. “Oh you want the headers CENTERED? That’ll be an extra gig because you didn’t say that originally and it will take more time.” Even with unlinked chapters, I centered them in 10 minutes. :/ “Oh, I moved the blank page before the Table of Contents and didn’t charge extra for that.” Well, I wouldn’t have expected you to anyway for moving a page over, but thanks for informing me of your overflowing generosity. I moved the project to another Fiverr who did a much better job, for a much higher price, but resulted in the template formatting being lost (he specializes in CreateSpace formatting). :/ He did give me options for revising the Kindle version though so it wasn’t a complete loss.

After stress-eating chocolate cake all morning and driving my nails into my temples, my boss offered to help and completed the header formatting the Fiverr’s could not complete to my liking in the past 2 days in 20 minutes. She is Dumbledore. And now I solemnly swear that I will not make any more changes so I don’t have to go through this again. No more trying to be cute. I’ll stick with Eccentric Simplicity. Lord knows I’m super-picky when it comes to EVERYTHING. I don’t need my self-publishing platform to be like me. -.-‘

~Tael

Author Q+A: Tael of “Chaos (un)Controlled”

Lucky Pineapple Films

What inspired you on this book?

So…many…things. The top 3 inspirations? My love of gaming, a couple of poignant dreams that stuck with me, and a determination to create a fictional world by incorporating truthful elements I’ve experienced!

Why did you want to become a writer?

I’ve devoured books since I was young. Reading was like my top hobby as a child, next to video games. I adored chapter books from a very young age, and my elementary school had an Author’s Club where we could create our own stories and craft our own books. But those were little children’s picture books. Once I realized that was supremely different from an actual novel, I grew discouraged. I thought I would never be able to write a 200 page novel about a completely made up concept! Chaos (un)Controlled is proof that I could.

What was the hardest part of creating…

View original post 871 more words

I’m Impressed by David

And those who know me know I’m not easily impressed. I’m talking about AskDavid.com (no relation to Jeeves). Has it gotten me more sales? Not really sure. Nothing notable to immediately go “AHA!” But their setup and value impresses me. When I initially came across them in one of the many book promotion lists online, I passed them over because it mentioned a membership and I hate joining things. The commitment… >.>

But I finally returned and decided to give it a shot because it’s only $15 for a 6-month membership, and other services I’ve swam through so far charge you far more than that for just a day’s/week’s worth of promotion and little return.

Check out this nifty page they executed for me: http://askdavid.com/reviews/book/science-fantasy/14550

It has an old-school fan-page feel that my humble self admires. THIS looks like effort! Far more than the Fiverr gig I recently bought that offered to tweet my link for 3 days and literally tweeted only the link with the hashtag I gave them (I mean, most gigs like this include SOME sort of wording, and the guy proclaimed he was a goddamned ARTIST). The next day was a RETWEET of his original tweet. That’s #2, I guess. :/ Today, who knows. And that was a $10 gig.

But David…David shows my book cover in brilliant size, prodded me to give a description that differed from my book blurb to connect with readers, linked to my website, Twitter, and the Amazon page, threw my face up in there as well as my meager Amazon reviews, gave an option for people to talk and engage with me…David also gives you access to set up tweets from his Twitter account, AND gives you random little promotion pop-ups on his site. For $15 over 6 months, this is pretty good stuff, and not a price you’ll look back on like it wasn’t worth it. He’s making this fun and I can’t wait to do more interacting with it. I’ll even be able to farm for more indies to read and support here. It’s like a one-stop shop, where you find those rare RPG towns where they sell the items and weapons in the same place instead of making you run to different buildings.

It feels good to be impressed.

~Tael

The Three-Four-Seven-Nine-Forty Book Trilogy

Seems to be the trend nowadays. First novel of the Fallen Angel series. Book Three of the Steamy Hearts boxset. Sixty-eleventh part of the omg-you-need-to-keep-reading-this-unlimited-number-sequence. A hot tip to indie authors, especially those looking to set up recurring passive income, is to write as many books as possible and throw them on Amazon. The idea is that the more books you have, the more your promoting of your other books will eventually get your OTHER books found. I think.

A specific comment from one of my Chaos (un)Controlled reviewers was, “I personally liked a lot because it seems like every single young adult book has to be a series of at least 3 books when sometimes I just want one pleasant self-contained book.”

It certainly does feel that way sometimes, huh? I agree. Not knocking series at all; I’m considering doing a non-linear prequel to Chaos (un)Controlled for my next writing project. But Rixa’s story isn’t incomplete in Chaos (un)Controlled. University Heights could be revisited, sure. Other characters could get a spotlight. It’d be cool to take a Tales approach; where elements of the prior games are touched upon in the later games, giving the player refreshing “Aha!” moments, if they’ve played the others. But I don’t want to return to it just because series are the cool thing to do right now. There would need to be a real reason.

Currently, as an adult reader, the thought of starting a new series (from a reader’s perspective) is akin to climbing a mountain; my mind sees “Book one of…” and immediately responds, “Do I really want to get into this?” Finding the time to finish one novel takes awhile as it is. It’s like getting into a new television show. It’s like…now I gotta watch it and be invested. Thinking of the obligation is exhausting enough… -.- Let’s take a look at the series I’ve encountered and made it through:

Harry Potter. This one was an accident. The first three books were gifted to me and I ended up loving them and grateful that the journey continued after the first.

Fifty Shades of Grey. This one, I was conned. An old co-worker raved about how she loved this series so much, she re-read all of them in a week. Barnes & Noble happened to have a ridiculous sale, all 3 for $9.99 so I went for it. First one was amusing. Second one kept me interested. Third one was painful. I could only crawl through a few pages at a time for each reading session before major ADD kicked in. I finished only because I had committed to the first two.

Twilight. I was gifted the first book for this one too, and despite the purple-prosey writing style, it did keep me captivated enough to keep going through all 4.

Divergent. First one was awesome. Second one cool. Third one, bleh.

Seems like series have a habit of losing steam the further they go along. With the exception of Harry Potter.

Let’s look at a non-linear series. The Coldest Winter Ever was phenomenal. The long-after subsequent prequel Midnight offered a very different tale that I was sold on. I’m a sucker for Japanese culture blended into anything. The sequel to Midnight however, fell flat and unrealistic and lost my fandom. Whatever we forgave or gave a pass to in the first one, began to pile on as the outrageous elements became a Rollout. I recently learned there was another release in the non-linear series; A Deeper Love, which follows Winter’s sister apparently. It’s on my reading list because, of course, the commitment.

If potential readers can find the time to commit to Chaos (un)Controlled, just ONE standalone book, I’ll be happy. Whether many are jumping on the series bandwagon for the sake of sales, or love of an epic story-journey, I still say there’s a niche for the pleasant, self-contained book that the busy reader with time-commitment-issues can store on her shelf.

~Tael