Tag Archives: self-publishing marketing

Indie Book of the Week

TGIF, my awesome blog readers! Today we have an Indie Book of the Week rather than an Indie Author of the Week. This one is available on Goodreads and hint, something you might want to check out!

Without further adieu, welcome, “Cure for Pain” by N.M. Facile:

“Ty Jaden isn’t what society needs. At twenty-six, he’s a charismatic and intense heroin dealer turned user who landed himself in jail. Now he’s out, clean and just wants to get away from the city that is still his prison. But it won’t happen when powerful men have a vested interest in making sure he continues his trade. So, now he has a plan: keep his head low, do what is expected of him, ignore all distractions and wait for his opportunity to finally get away. What he doesn’t need is to get involved. Mary Flynn is a doe-eyed small town woman trying to make the world a better place by volunteering at a Minneapolis Safe Works chapter and teaching at-risk youth. Mary, an angel with inner fire and intimidating intelligence, is trying to save the world from people like Ty. He didn’t want to drag her into his world, but like a moth to flame, she was drawn to him. Like an angel, she might just be his redemption.”


Check out the book trailer here:


And last but not least, click to purchase.


Enjoy your weekend! (Evin –


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Posted by on April 26, 2013 in Uncategorized


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Rejection to Pulitzer

I will share the fact that I am a fan of Civil War books, movies and literature. I love reading about the Civil War, Abe Lincoln and so forth. It’s just something about that time in history that draws me to it.

Imagine my delight when I found a copy of, “The Killer Angels” by Michael Shaara while browsing a used book store last weekend. Not only that, but I also happened upon the sequel, “The Last Full Measure” written by his son, Jeff Shaara. Let’s just say that I left the store with both of them securely in my bag and well, I guess I should also thank my wife because in reality, she is the one that happened upon them. 😉

I’m not sure how familiar you are with “The Killer Angels” but this book, written in 1974, won the Pulitzer in 1975. Let me not forget to add however that it was originally rejected by 15 publishers. Yes, 15. No worries though. Besides eventually being picked up and published by Random House, Michael Shaara’s book is also responsible for the movie, “Gettysburg.” Yeah, you’ve probably heard of it. It was based off of “The Killer Angels.” Yeah, that’s right. Should I also add a “BAZINGA!” here (not certain on the spelling, but if you are a fan of The Big Bang theory, then you’ll get it.)?

If you are interested to read more, you can find some good info here:

Unfortunately Michael Shaara passed away in 1988 at the young age of 60 however his son Jeff and daughter Lila have graciously continued the Shaara legacy.

Just another great success story. (Evin –

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Posted by on April 11, 2013 in Uncategorized


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Indie Author of the Week

It’s Friday! In addition to hearing me shout out a huge, “TGIF!” you get the gift of finding out who my Indie Author of the Week is. It is….*drum roll*….Michelle Proulx!

Taken straight from Amazon, “Michelle Proulx was born on the market moon of Vega Minor where she spent her formative years reading, writing, and gambling at illegal underground jsgarn fighting rings. While en route to Alpha Centauri, Michelle crash-landed her space yacht on the planet Earth. She now lives in Canada and divides her time between observing the local fauna and repairing her star ship.”

Visit her website — — to learn more!

Her début novel, Imminent Danger And How to Fly Straight into It, is an award-winning Teen / Sci-fi / Romance novel. Check it out today, and get swept away in a galactic adventure of truly cosmic proportions!

Buy her book here:

Oh, and TGIF! (Evin –

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Posted by on April 5, 2013 in Uncategorized


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Brick and mortar stores

A recent experience has led me to post on the topic of brick and mortar stores. So I have a good dialogue going back and forth with a potential client. She’s self-published her book already and is looking for marketing services. We’re trading emails and she likes what I’m telling her so far and what I have to offer.

Suddenly she asks me a question and disappears. That question was, “Will you be able to get my book into chain stores?” I was honest. I advised her that although not impossible, the answer was probably going to be, no. I told her that we could most definitely get it into smaller, indie stores and such, but she’s looking for the big named brands. I then informed her that I could get them listed online with some of those larger stores she was referring to, but that wasn’t the answer she wanted to hear. I would assume she’s still unsuccessfully searching for someone that can give her the answer she wants to hear.

Let me say that when I said the answer was probably going to be no, I meant that. Getting your self-published book into the chains isn’t impossible. It’s difficult, but it has been done before. First, you need to have your marketing plan in place and you need to have been marketing that book for a good while. This includes marketing the book before the manuscript is even finished.

I’ve said it before on how it blows my mind that many authors see their books sitting on the shelf in Barnes and Noble as a gauge of their success. I can’t figure out why this is. I would personally gauge my success on how well I was marketing my books and getting them onto my reader’s shelves, and how much those readers were enjoying the book enough to suggest it to their friends. How do those things happen? With good marketing plans of course.

So maybe you do want to get your book into a chain brick and mortar store. Here are some tips I found on Wiki how (

  • Start promoting your book before contacting bookstores to show that you’re serious, and then continue promoting it and directing potential customers to the stores that are willing to stock your book.
    • Create a website or blog for the book.
    • Create a press kit. Describe the book and provide contact information. Include only the most influential or glowing reviews. Leave out irrelevant information such as your personal resume. You have about 60 seconds to make an impression with it, so make sure your strongest selling points are on the first page.
    • Send press releases to local newspapers and bookstores. It will be much more effective if you send these to individual contact people, so make some phone calls or do some research to find out the specific person who reviews books in each company.
    • Advertise in local publications. Let your bookstore contact person know that you’re marketing the book locally. Offer to put an “available at …” line in future ads if they will accept the book for sale.
    • Contact local TV and radio stations for interviews. Again, having the name of a contact person will make your efforts more productive. If you have mutual friends, ask them to recommend you to media people they know.
    • Offer to hold author readings at libraries and writing conferences to increase your visibility.
    • Create flyers containing information about your book. Include the ISBN and a brief synopsis. Leave the flyers on public bulletin boards to create local interest.
    • Enlist your network. Ask your friends, neighbors, family, and co-workers-to request the book at their local bookstores. Then resist the temptation to sell your book to those people yourself. Ask them to wait to buy it from the store so that there is a history of good sales.


  • Ask the store to order your book from their distributors. If your book is available through national distributors such as Ingram or Baker & Taylor, the bookstore can order directly from the distributor and may be willing to do so just from a phone call. Taking books one-at-a-time on consignment from the author, on the other hand, is much more time-consuming (and thus less profitable) for bookstores than going through an established distributor, which automates reordering, returns, and payments.
  • Identify the bookstore contact person. If you are distributing your book yourself, call the bookstore and ask who handles their “consignment” or “local author” books. Start with chain bookstores to get experience with the process; then approach independent bookstores, which are more likely to have a Local Authors section. If you are a local author, the bookstore will be more likely to accept your book as a community service than if you’re some distant author who will not be doing local promotion. Ask if you can make an appointment to come in and show them the book.
  • Be professional and respectful. At your meeting with the bookstore contact, distinguish yourself from pushy self-published authors by being easy to work with.
  • Although you may be a long-time customer of that bookstore, you are now the seller and they are the customer. It’s fine to say that you love the store (if you do), but don’t pressure them to take your book just because you’ve bought a lot of books from them in the past.
  • Be prepared to leave a copy of the book with the manager or buyer for evaluation. Let them know that you would be available for author signings and readings when the time comes (meaning “if the book sells”).
  • Ask the bookstore contact person if they would like a complimentary copy of the book, but don’t ask them to read it; they will read your book if they are interested in it.
  • It is naive to suggest that the store should put your book on their Staff Recommendations shelf, or that they display it at the front counter. Marketing decisions are made by the bookstore, and only amateurs ask to be placed on the store’s top-selling, most visible locations before there is a history of strong sales.
  • Do not presume to tell a bookstore that they will “sell a lot of copies.” That is out of your hands. Let your results speak for themselves.


  • Follow up. Check back periodically with the stores that have taken the book and ask if they need more copies. (Every 6-8 weeks is sufficient.)
  • Be as professional at the end as at the beginning. Don’t be grudging when the contract time is up and the store asks you to take back unsold copies. They took a chance, and if the book didn’t sell, it is largely because the author didn’t promote it or send people in to look at it. If you’re cheerful and respectful, the bookstore will be much more likely to accept your future work.
  • Respect staff time. If you’re in a busy bookstore, get in and out as quickly as you can. Once the store accepts the book, you no longer need to “sell” it by talking about yourself or the book. It’s actually counter-productive to monopolize staff time and doesn’t work to get the staff to hand-sell your book. Like every other reader, the bookstore contact person will take a quick look at the book and make their own buying/reading decisions.
  • Continue marketing. Once you’ve gotten your self-published book into bookstores, don’t stop working. Push the book as hard as you did before to encourage people to buy it. Your book will be restocked, especially by larger chain bookstores, only if sales are good.
  • Have a great Tuesday, my friends. (Evin –

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    Posted by on April 2, 2013 in Uncategorized


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    Designing your own book covers. Good or bad idea?

    I follow several writing and publishing groups on LinkedIn and am following an interesting discussion on whether or not designing your own book cover is a good or a bad idea.

    I personally have mixed feelings on this one. I mean let’s face it. Not everyone has the money in the pocket to shell out big bucks to hire a graphic designer and I say if you have design skills to go for it. If you are pondering designing your own cover, ask yourself this, “How presentable and professional do I want my book to be?”

    Big name authors don’t really have to worry so much about whether or not their book covers catch the attention of their readers. People know their names, love their books and are probably going to buy them regardless of what the cover looks like.

    If you are reading this blog however you are more than likely an indie author or someone looking to self-publish. This means that more than likely your name isn’t out there quite yet. That’s not a bad thing. It just means you need to get people to buy your books.

    I’ll use myself for instance. My wife and I are just on the verge of being labeled book hoarders (so yeah, now you know my dirty, dark secret). We buy books, books and more books and folks this is on top of checking books out from the library. Okay, back on subject. Basically when I browse books not looking for a specific author, I’ll admit that oftentimes the covers are what catch my attention and make me pick the book up off the shelf for a closer look. I seriously doubt that I am alone in this.

    Also, graphic artists have a skill that is more than just being able to put the artwork down on paper. They have the skill to determine the art and design that will best suit your book. One of my business partners is a graphic artist and I’ll admit that since he joined the team, things have been much better in the way of our new marketing materials (for both my own company AND our clients). All I have to do is give him an idea of what I’m looking for and he can bring something to life.

    So yeah, in my opinion it’s best to hire a professional. Sure it’s going to cost but truly, what is your book worth?

    Let’s hear your opinions. Post ’em below!

    Another glorious post from Mr. Guru (soon to be from Mr. Sapling). Okay, Mr. Sapling doesn’t sound right. I’ll think of something. 😉 (Evin –

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    Posted by on March 27, 2013 in Uncategorized


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    How to create a great story ending

    I follow a blog by a great author, Michelle Proulx (check out her blog AND her book: and one of her posts made the wheels turn and that’s story endings. How do authors create some great endings to their stories? Do they do what everyone expects and end it with everyone happy, or do they take a different twist and kill off some of the main characters?

    I found a great post by author, Joanna Penn ( and thought I’d share her insight to this well-known dilemma (it contains quite a few great links if you feel so inclined):

    • Don’t cheat and suddenly have everything work out fine. This is lazy and the reader isn’t fooled. For example “And Jesus lived happily ever after”. From How Not To Write A Novel.
    • Link the story to a larger theme to end on a high note. This is one of the great tips included by C. Patrick Schulze in this article on writing endings.
    • You can surprise the reader but you must also satisfy them. There should be more than one possible ending to a book, so the reader doesn’t just give up as they know what will happen. It’s worth foreshadowing this ending with hints in the rest of the book though so that they are surprised but it is not entirely out of the blue. Paraphrased from Holly Lisle. This is also covered by the disappointment of twist endings at Kim’s Craft Blog.
    • Don’t use sappy extraneous contemplation. This is the big problem with the ending of Dan Brown’s ‘The Lost Symbol‘. The last chapter or two is just watching the sun rise and thinking about the experience. Boring and pointless.
    • Some genres have an expected ending that you can’t mess with. If your genre is romance, they have to get together at the end. There’s no getting around this unless you want to change genres! You also need to keep some characters alive if you have a series of books planned.
    • Don’t forget to end the book (or explain it is a trilogy!). I recently read ‘The Passage’ by Justin Cronin, a very chunky post-apocalyptic, majorly hyped novel. I enjoyed it but was hugely disappointing in the ending which basically didn’t end. There were so many loose ends so I went onto Twitter to see if anyone else felt the same way. A wonderful fellow tweeter pointed out that the book is first in a trilogy! However, this doesn’t excuse the feeling of disappointment as the brilliant ‘Hunger Games’ by Suzanne Collins is also the first in a trilogy and wraps the story up and yet still leads onto the next book. It’s definitely a balance.
    • The resolution comes after the climax. The ending does not have to be in that last action/adventure scene. It needs to be after the climax so the story is rounded out. In film, “the audience can catch its breath, gather its thoughts and leave the cinema with dignity” From ‘Story’ by Robert McKee.

    Here are some of comments from Twitter – thanks to all who contributed!

    • Make it satisfying. Doesn’t have to be good or happy, but readers want to be satisfied. @Kessbird
    • Surprise the reader and definitely tie up the lose ends (I hate sub-plots that are just abandoned!) @graywave, author of ‘TimeSplash’
    • Emotionally move the reader in some way to make her feel that her money was well-spent. @jchutchins , author of 7th Son thriller trilogy
    • Think of the biggest, most mind-blowing final conflict you can. Then make it bigger. @AlanBaxter, author of ‘Realmshift’
    • I always start with the idea of where I am going, makes it so much easier to get there! @PhilippaJane , author of ‘Chasing the Bard’
    • End on a note of anticipation. Leave with the reader wanting more. @teemonster , author of Billibub Baddings books
    • “…and then the world exploded” @ShearersBooks
    • Endings in a book must come natural, but “out of the box” at the same time. @myotherhand
    • Write the ending out fully that comes to mind. Then try cutting the last line or paragraph. It’s often an improvement. @vickigundrum
    • Ending depends on the beginning. in my two novels i have chosen unhappy ending and the third one a happy ending. @sudampanigrahi
    • End with a question to encourage comments. @code_and_prose
    • Always go back to your opening point. @smuttysteff
    • Figure it out before you write the beginning! @ChrisMorphew

    Write my friends, write! (Evin – – soon to be Sapling Publishing)

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    Posted by on March 26, 2013 in Uncategorized


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    Marketing for Self-Published Authors

    *Drum roll*….it’s here. Something ALL self-published authors have been looking for. MARKETING. Notice I didn’t say marketing assistance or marketing advice. I said MARKETING.

    Guru Publishing has been evolving over the past year that we have been in business. We’ve been conducting ongoing research into the world of self-publishing and independent (indie) authors and after much work, we’ve found what self-published authors need the most and that’s a good marketing plan. If clients don’t know books exist, they won’t buy them and why? Because they don’t know they exist. It can become a vicious circle.

    I’m not saying that all self-published authors fall short in the marketing arena but let’s face it. What do authors do best? Write, not market. Another thing…many self-publishing companies offer packages that include marketing but really. What do these consist of? Posters? Some business cards? The shipping of a media kit to the author to take care of? That is NOT marketing. It’s offering marketing tools to the client, but it’s not actual marketing.

    Guru Publishing takes it a step further and offers to do the marketing for our clients. Period. No ifs, ands or buts. We will do the marketing for the author. I don’t mean that we will have a few posters printed. I mean we will do each and every part of marketing that is required to get the book and the face of the author out into the world. Check our site frequently as we begin to list our services: If you have questions or requests in the meantime, contact me via the contact avenues on my site and I’ll speak with you.

    Another perk of Guru Publishing? Yes, we are a self-publishing company but we are a self-publishing company that does not require any form of contract. We are also a self-publishing company that takes no percentage of your sales. Face it. We know what self-publishing really is and that is getting your book out there in print (including e-book format). It’s ensuring your work is professionally edited; it’s getting a great cover design, etc. It’s NOT using an ISBN that belongs to someone else, listing them as the publisher on your self-published book. It’s NOT watching huge percentages of your hard-earned sales go to someone else. It’s all about you having control of your own book.

    We have to keep the lights on so yeah, we charge for our services but, they are all for you, custom designed by you. YOU design your own publishing and marketing packages with us. We don’t offer pre-packaged deals that may or may not have what you need.

    Okay yeah. This post was one big advertisement but, I’m stoked! Check me out! (Evin –

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    Posted by on March 21, 2013 in Uncategorized


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