Gina Lawless Books

November 2, 2012

How You Can Help Out Indie Authors

I am in the process of forming an Independent Author review page in my own tiny corner of this self-publishing world to entice, generate, coerce folks to read, review (an important aspect of any author’s writing career) and otherwise support these hard-working authors. Being one myself, I understand the difficulty of getting people to read your stuff. An author can spend more time marketing (easily) his/her books than actually writing them.

I am guilty of reading books from the best seller’s list exclusively and only began reading indie authors this year. I’m amazed at how many really good writers there are.

So with that splattered out there, many of these authors have free, or cheaply priced works available to the public simply to get their name out. Some have their books listed for free to hook a reader into further purchases, which I have found to be an excellent tactic. I have been hooked this way myself.

In my attempt to support my fellow authors, I command you…okay, not command…ask politely that you check out Smashwords home page, click on the “free” tab and scroll through the many books available. If you are a voracious reader like me, you’ll a find a plethora of marvelously good reads that will keep you entertained for eons. Plus, you’ll be doing a great service to independent authors.

Happy reading!

But, don’t forget to give them a review (good, bad or indifferent) because it only helps their process.

October 14, 2012

Summer’s Over. Now Get Your Damn E-Readers Working.

No more laying on the beach in your tiny bikinis, and worrying if your bikini line has been shaved properly! Unless, of course you have a hot date tonight. In that case: wax on!

Now is the time to load up your e-readers with some good reads and cozy up with your favorite blankie. This is one reason I love the cooler months. I can read without feeling guilty that I should be outside doing something constructive with my yard. I have no idea why I would feel guilty when I have no garden to tend. I gave up on that last summer when my topsy-turvy tomatoes turned black on one end looking like some grotesque monster eyeball. I did get to use the tomatoes for target practice though. So, I said to hell with this mess. I’ll buy my tomatoes from Mexico and pretend they taste like the home-grown sort. Right.

I’m digressing again! E-readers! My books are uploaded through Smashwords, and distributed to Nook, Sony, Kobo, Diesel, and Barnes and Noble. My question to all of my lovely readers is this: What e-reader do you use?

The reason I ask, is because I’m considering going through Amazon for my next book to see how it works. All I hear is Kindle this, and Kindle that. I personally own a Nook Color, which I absolutely adore, and anything that is sold through Amazon is sold through B&N. I’m don’t feel like I’m getting jipped in that respect. However, when it comes to book sales of my own, I sometimes feel like a fart in the wind.

Or are you one of the romantic few who still must have a book made of trees? I still read those old-fashioned kind of books, of course. But, the really weird part is this. I bought and am reading The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, which is an excellent book, by the way if you haven’t read it yet. Anyway, I’m physically holding this book and struggling to hold the book open. Did you get that? I’m struggling to hold the book open!!! Yesterday morning, I awoke to find my left thumb was a bit sore. I’m asking myself what I did to cause this. Ahhh! It dawned on my this morning. I was reading a paperback book! Strange, but true.

Pipe up and give me some feedback on your thoughts about e-readers and perhaps your experience with Amazon.

Don’t click the “Submit” button on the inserted picture. 🙂

September 13, 2012

Business Card Frenzy

I had these business cards made up quickly and cheaply at VistaPrint for only the cost of shipping.

In an effort to recoup my $10.00, I ran around my town…well…I didn’t actually run, but everyone I spoke to, I handed them a business card or two, and asked them to spread the word. The design is simple, but straightforward. It was exciting to actually speak to people face to face to promote myself, and it was exciting to see their excitement. I love these little tax deductions!

Have some made up, carry them with you everywhere you go. Supermarket, gas stations, libraries, the local tavern, the bank, work, neighbors. Whomever you can accost. You’d be surprised at how much support and encouragement you can gain this way.

August 31, 2012

Kickstarter for StoryRealms Family Adventure Game

 This is an introduction to StoryRealms Family Adventure Game by Escapade Games. This is worth taking a look for you gamers out there, and even if you’re not a gamer. They are launching their kickstarter program to get this project rolling and would appreciate your help in donating and/or helping to spread the word.

 What makes Story Realms different from any other board game or role playing game? Almost Everything! Here’s a quick look at some of the reasons Story Realms is like nothing you’ve ever seen before.

  • A complete Story Realms “Chapter” plays in about an hour.
  • Story Realms is a storytelling adventure game that the whole family can enjoy together–even little kids can play Story Realms and there’s plenty there for adults to get into as well.
  • The gameplay in Story Realms rewards teamwork, creativity, and imagination, something that kids are amazingly good at.
  • Playing Story Realms is an opportunity to build a shared family experience of adventure, fun, cooperation, and creative memories that will last long after the game is over.
  • Storm Hollow, the setting for Story Realms, is a vibrant storybook world that merges the familiar with the fantastic to provide an immersive backdrop for epic adventure stories.
  • Story Realms touches on the resonant themes of light versus dark, the power of a good story, and the boundless nature of creativity.
  • Story Realms is a game about working together to accomplish great deeds, explore an amazing world, and discover your inner hero.

That’s it folks! It’s awesome and amazing what they have done. Please go check them out immediately if not sooner at StoryRealms Family Adventure Game, and if you can, help give these folks a Kickstart.

August 19, 2012

Tweets Without Blogs

One of my favorite morning rituals is going through my Twitter followers/followings with my cup of coffee, and checking out blog sites and/or websites. I don’t pick up a newspaper anymore because 1) I can read it online and 2) I can’t see anything that’s upbeat and entertaining enough that captures my attention. It’s all about who shot whom, who went to jail for drugs, who beat up whose wife.

Anyway, one of the things that I’m running into on Twitter is that many folks don’t have a blog or website that one can go check out. No place to go check out their writing or WIP. I asked myself, “Self? Can one promote one’s work accordingly just using Twitter?” I suppose you can, but for me, I like to see someone put some real effort into their profession. Anything worth doing, is worth going all out for. Don’t you agree?

I feel like I’ve sold myself short this past month because of my obligations to the job that pays the bills, and taking a bit of time off to reconnect with people. Plus, it’s difficult to stay indoors writing when it’s so gorgeous outside. However, I still have an obligation to myself as a writer to keep plugging away at it. Guilt plagues me.

So, I guess a little advice to those that Tweet: If you do have a blog or website, please include it in your profile. Show us your depth. Give us your perception. And, I know this goes for every author out there. We’re not only writers. We are readers as well. Don’t sell yourself short by just tweeting a link to where your book is being sold. It doesn’t give me a reason that makes me want to go check out your book. I am always looking for material to read. Always! Help us be able to help you. I read anywhere from four to six books at a time and I’m running out of books on my Nook!

What’s your opinion?

August 18, 2012

Another Way To Get Your Words Out

I tried this avenue several years ago and had completely forgotten about it.

You can refer back to one of my older posts  that explains what I’m talking about.

Ezine Articles is a fantastic way to help authors get the word out and also builds your presence. They do have a few rules for submitting an article, one mainly being you cannot put links into the body of your articles to sell yourself. But, you can use the resource box at the end of your article to guide readers to your sites.

You can use some of your blog posts for articles, but again, edit it so there are no links to your sites in the body of your text, otherwise they will kick it back out and ask you to fix it.

It does not cost you anything, and I think it’s well worth the few minutes to sign up and re-post some of your great ideas there.

SEO Baby!

June 2, 2012

When Do Ebook Sales Meet Your Expectations?

Filed under: Marketing — Gina Lawless @ 5:58 pm
Tags: , , , , , ,

This is a huge question for any independent author, one many ask each other, and of themselves. Some say, “Hey, I’d be happy if I sold just one copy of my book this month.” Others will tell you that they expect a large volume of sales (and then being disappointed when they’re not getting the sales). Whatever your goals are…and it is important to have goals…just remember that it takes time to develop this process. It’s not going to happen over night. If you can keep that word of advice to heart, it won’t seem so daunting or disappointing.

My answer to the above question is this: I exceeded my expectations when friends and family have purchased my books, but then unknown people are purchasing them. Perhaps, I have low expectations, but they are realistic. There are so many great indie authors out there, and when I look at their books, I don’t know where to begin to start reading them. My voracious hunger for a good book is phenomenal. I am clearly, a book junkie. If I don’t have a book with me at all times, I start becoming  jittery and sweaty. When I start foaming at the mouth,  it’s too late.

I put three different genres out there to see which one sold the best. People seem to like Harbinger the most so I’m focusing on a series for this one. Plus, it’s so much fun to write about. Bringing the fairy world to life from their point of view is so interesting for me as a writer because nothing is impossible. There are other genres that I read, thinking I would love to get into writing a suspense/thriller genre. But hey, I’ll leave that to the professionals and just read them for now.

My point is, write what you enjoy, and you’ll find it flows much, much easier. If you are proud of your writing, and have done the best job possible, the sky is the limit. If you can keep a realistic goal in mind as you venture forth into this brave new world of independent publishing, there is no reason for you not to be able to exceed your expectations. Now, stop reading this blog post and get busy on that book. We want to read it!

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