Self-publishing

Indie Author Spotlight: Adam LaValley



After recently turning 18, Adam Lewis LaValley is the youngest success story at BookRix. Adam, known as “rootrot”, is one of the most well-known young writers on BookRix, and his hard work is starting to pay off – His first self-published eBook, The Mountain Man, has been in our top 10 sales ranking since January! Adam is a multi-talented writer; he is a self-proclaimed history buff, and just published his first historical book, Freedom Ho! Extravagant Stories from America’s Past. He also recently published CORE – today’s featured book – a futuristic sci-fi action novel with intense descriptions, plot and back-story only a history connoisseur could create.












The world has been ravaged by nuclear war, famine, and terrorism. In a continent’s ashes, a new power has risen…In its pursuit for supremacy, the power attacks and conquers the neighboring, small thriving country of Maruvi. The Imperial CORE Warrior Program quickly wipes out Maruvi’s defenses and military structures, killing off their best fighters, the Jaspers. Only one lone rebel group remains to resist the invaders, but their attacks are futile…they are forced into hiding as the COREs continue their onslaught.

But that was until one of their own, Unit Radez1079, joined the Resistance. With this professional combatant, the rebels again take arms and rise up. After 40 years of hiding they must rise to fight this power, and this time it’s die or try…

BUY LINKS:
AMAZON
KOBO
ITUNES
BARNES&NOBLE
BOOKRIX












On Sale Now!Coming Soon!
















You can find more free eBooks by Adam LaValley by clicking right HERE!





10 Things You Wouldn’t Have Known About Adam:





1. Loves cartoons and animation in general; anime travel series are a new personal favorite, and he is captivated by Kino’s Journey.
2. Is an amateur graphic artist.
3. Has a thing for messing around with animation; hopes to see one of his stories as an animation on the big screen or television one day.
4. Began drawing funny little cartoon characters at the age of 11.
5. Started a collection of Louis L’Amour Western novels.
6. Aside from Civil War history, loves the Industrial and Progressive Eras.
7. Prefers Teddy Roosevelt and Lincoln over other presidents any day.
8. Favorite saying from Teddy: “Mistah SPEAKAH!”
9. Is a not-too distant blood relative of Ulysses S. Grant, and owns a copy of his autobiography.
10. Hates tomatoes, loves fries!







Adam Lewis LaValley was born and raised in Minnesota, and has been living there since. Having just completed High School, he is now being exposed to the world and all its opportunities. With a deep interest in American history, he plans to take courses at the University of Minnesota to strengthen his understanding of the past and later begin a career in teaching.

Adam LaValley

Adam LaValley

Having written his first full-length novel at the age of 13, Adam has gone on to better his skills at writing by introducing himself to various genres and writing forms. He has found, surprisingly, that his storytelling skill lies in tales of Historical Fiction and Sci-Fi.

After joining the Bookrix community in 2010, Adam has been introduced to a positive environment full of encouragement and ambitious young story writers like himself. His dream of publishing a novel came true when The Mountain Man hit the website’s front page in December 2012, and became a bestseller. Since then, two others have been published.

Aside from writing by himself, Adam is also collaborating with Bookrix writer Timur Iablokov (the.dragon) and DeviantArt artist Plaguey to create a Sci-Fi graphic light novel. Glory’s Palm, a Western novel that will feature three parts to its storyline, will also be published this September.

Find Adam on the Web:
AUTHOR BLOG
AUTHOR ART
FACEBOOK




How To Market Your eBook Using Cover Design

And he's not alone...
GUEST POST

Today we are featuring an article by Amber, owner and co-creator of Me, My Shelf and I blog, MMSAI Designs, and Book Nerd Tours.  Amber has a lot of great insights about the art of marketing and selling eBooks, and the eBook self-publishing world in general, so we’ve asked her here to shake some sense into you. She wants to share some wisdom, gained through years of experience with Independent Authors, hopeful that it will rub off on at least a few of you.

WHY YOUR COVER MATTERS

I’m going to tell you something that might come as a shock to you, and maybe sound even a little harsh. But it’s the truth and frankly someone needs to say it. No matter how well your book is written or how intriguing your synopsis is, no one is going to even think about buying your book if you have a poorly crafted cover.

No one is going to even think about buying your book if you have a poorly crafted cover.

I know, I know, we constantly spout the phrase ‘Don’t judge a book by its cover’ but let’s face it, when it comes to using this phrase about actual books, and not as just a vague mantra about life, everyone really does judge a book by its cover. Book Buyers. Book Readers. Book Bloggers. Book Sellers.

Think about it, it’s the books first impression. When someone is scrolling through an eBook store, what do they see? Not the synopsis, not an excerpt. They see the cover. Your cover is the difference between someone clicking on your book to see that masterfully crafted synopsis, and them scrolling past and never thinking another thought on it again. First impressions are everything and if you are not using the cover to your advantage, you have no one to blame for poor book sales but yourself.

Independent Authors have a wonderful opportunity that traditionally published authors don’t – they have 100% full control over their cover art. Do you know how many traditionally published authors would kill to have even a tiny say in their cover?
Independent authors constantly waste this opportunity by looking at their cover as a way to save money. Instead of spending a few days looking around the millions of able bodied and extremely well priced graphic designers on the internet, they blow the dust off that version of Paint Shop Pro that hasn’t been used since Madonna had her last top 40 hit, and put something together themselves.

Independent authors constantly waste this opportunity by looking at their cover as a way to save money.

These very same people who would never consider doing heart surgery because they weren’t trained as a doctor. People who wouldn’t even entertain the idea of teaching an advanced English class because they do not possess an English degree. These very same people are more than willing to jump into the shoes of a Graphic Designer without batting an eyelash and think they can do that job, maybe not as well, but well enough. In any job, “well enough” is never a good option and it never works.

Not only can this be detrimental to your book sales, but quite possibly to yourself personally. Did you know nearly all photos on the internet are copyright protected in some fashion? If you’re just grabbing things willy-nilly you could get sued. And that if you are buying stock images, you could be wasting money. A designer already has accounts with all these stock places, they get the images for far less than you would and generally they come as part of the cost you pay said designer!

I know you believe you book is great, and if people could just read it they would love it. I don’t doubt you – but let me share with you something to think about before you dismiss the thought that the marketing that comes along with a book cover isn’t as important as I make it seem. Before you fully subscribe to the idea your writing style alone will carry your career remember this: JK Rowling, author of the Harry Potter Series published a book under a pen name recently. Even her fantastic and multi-award winning writing could not sell more than 1500 copies of that book in 6 months. When it was leaked she was in fact the author her sales jumped 500,000% in 48 hours. That day JK helped prove that writing doesn’t sell books – marketing does. You’re not JK Rowling, yet. Your name alone won’t sell your books, and it’s not ever going to if people don’t want to read them in the first place.

That day JK helped prove that writing doesn’t sell books – marketing does. You’re not JK Rowling, yet.

- Amber



Check out these links for more author tips about:
Marketing your eBook
eBook Cover Design
Creating an eBook

And make sure to stop by the Art Writers group if you need help with your cover!



How To Have Successful eBook Sales as a Self-Published Author



Cracking the Amazon Algorithms

Joanna Penn, author, internet entrepreneur and international speaker, recently broke down David Gaughran’s book, Let’s Get Visible: How to Get Noticed and Sell More Books. Her article explains that Gaughran’s book will make it easier for self-published authors to understand the basics of achieving successful eBook sales, or at least optimizing them. David Gaughran is an author/blogger known for his in-depth, critical and intelligent analysis of the publishing world.

Basically Joanna says that there are two main ways for people to find your eBooks:

1. Through your eBook

Most people buy the majority of their books from authors that they know nothing about. These sales have nothing to do with the author’s “platform”. Your “platform” is more about putting in consistent, focused effort over the course of a career, and making incremental improvements in extending your network. It’s about making waves that attract other people to you—not about begging others to pay attention. (To learn more about “platforms” read THIS article.)

2. Through you (the author)

This is all about your platform and how you reach people in the world. Joanna believes that #2 is important, having spent a lot of time and effort building her own platform and it changed her life. (Sounding familiar authors?)  She is a full-time author-entrepreneur because of her website. (Ahem – Authors: GET YOUR OWN BLOG/WEBSITE!) However, she says that she definitely sells more books to people who haven’t got a clue who she is and nor do they care.

Another important point is:

Readers shopping on Amazon buy more books!

Here is what Joanna says she learned from the book:

(1) Amazon algorithms are different for different charts and different territories

I’m not one of those people who likes to track data, but I have known for a long time how important the Amazon algorithms are for selling books. What I didn’t know was the difference between the Sales Rank, the Recommendation Engine, Bestseller Lists, Popularity lists, Top-Rated in Categories, Hot New Releases, Movers & Shakers and all the other ways you can target the lists and prime the sales pump.

(2) Staggering your launch is better for long-term sales than a big initial spike

A few years back there was a boom in ‘Amazon Bestseller’ promos where people would try to spike sales on one day, hit the charts and that would make everything a success. However, Amazon’s whole aim is to give people fantastic content and those kinds of programs were boosting books that didn’t necessarily deserve visibility. David talks about how the algorithm now pushes those books back down as fast as they rose, so when you launch, you want to have a slow start, with sales spaced out over time. He has a lot of specific ideas around the launch, definitely worth taking note of.

There’s also a great section on free pulsing and price pulsing which you should read if you’re still confused about ebook pricing! Plus a detailed method of evaluating paid advertising and doing group promotions.

Joanna also mentions that Gaughran’s book emphasizes that most of the strategies are only effective if you have more than 2 or 3 sale books (so get publishing!).  Joanna says that it’s really important to “remember that one of the best ways to sell more books is to write more books!”

To read the full article, visit Joanna’s website, The Creative Penn.

Ronald Reagan’s Daughter Self Publishes



Getting published by a traditional publishing house these days is tough. Ask any writer about their publishing experience and you’ll hear a variety stories with poor results. The process can induce nerves and anxiety, even for those who have a thick skin. But when you think about celebrities and the famous people of the world, it’s hard to imagine them on the receiving end of a rejection letter from a publishing house. After all, they’re popular. Don’t people want to read about them? That’s what we thought. But yesterday we learned about Patti Davis, Ronald and Nancy Reagan’s daughter, who struggled to find approval with her latest book. Although she sings her literary agents praises in interviews, she says she was unable to get a book deal for her latest book Til Human Voices Wake Us. This fictional piece focuses on a mother who falls in love with her sister-in-law while mourning the loss of her husband.

But this wasn’t Patti Davis’ first literary rodeo. She penned her first book Home Front back in 1986. Unfortunately, it was not well received. This was rumored to have been caused by her families’ political involvement. Since then she has written 8 more books. Her struggle with publishing Til Human Voices Wake Us was the motivating factor behind self publishing. “With each of my traditionally published books”, says Patti, “I felt like I was dropping off my child in a strange city, in the senseless murder district, with, ‘Hope you make it’”. Sadly, many authors are familiar with this feeling.

BookRix was created to give writers a platform to publish and distribute their work while having a sense of control. Self publishing also eliminates the waiting game many encounter with traditional publishing houses. Getting your book out there shouldn’t be that hard. And when people, even famous people, are taking control of their book, it’s really encouraging.

“There is now a boundary line in my career separating being conventionally published and self published”, Patti says. “And I’m very much at peace on this side of that boundary line.”

Good for you, Patti. Your determination is commendable!

With the weekend approaching, that means more reading time. So let’s take a moment to focus on BookRix author Stanley McQueen and his witty tales of the people within the Muddy Fork community. He has penned a variety of enjoyable eBooks on our site. Today we recommend Mail Order Bride.

Blurb:

Willie North is a successful, hardworking pig farmer, known all around Muddy Fork as a kind man and a good neighbor. However, due to his weight and looks, Willie couldn’t attract a woman, no matter how hard he tried. He was the only single man in Muddy Fork, so in an act of desperation, he pays $1000 for a mail order bride. When word spreads, the whole of Muddy Fork is at the train station to greet her. Will she turn out just as he imagined, or will he end up with a broken heart? A Muddy Fork Short Story.

How to add your self-published eBook to Goodreads AND enable Kobo book reviews






















For those of you who don’t already know, Goodreads is the world’s largest site for readers and book recommendations. Their mission is to help people find and share books they love. Basically, they are making reading more social and it’s working! If you’re an author who sells your books through Kobo, you’ll know just how important Goodreads is. At the moment, only people with Goodreads accounts can leave a book review at Kobo. You have to sign-in to your Goodreads account, search for the book, add it to one of your bookshelves (read, to read, currently reading), give it a star rating and then, if you want, leave a personal review about the book. This review will then automatically show up on the book’s Kobo page.

For indie authors, reviews can make or break the success of a book. Most readers find new books through word of mouth or recommendations from a friend. The great thing about Goodreads is that your friends can share their reviews and recommendations with you, or you can visit their profile to see what books they’re reading or read (and enjoyed) in the past. BookRix is similar, we add books to our favorites and add our reviews to the book info pages – then our friends can see what we think about other books on the site. Leaving a book review on BookRix is easy because all the free eBooks are already available on the site, and the self-published eBooks have accessible shop links. However, more often than not, indie books won’t be found in the Goodreads search. If a reader can’t find your book to leave a review, then other Kobo readers won’t know if anyone likes or dislikes your book. Without a review to read, they might not buy your book.

The simple thing to do is add your book to the Goodreads library. To add your book manually, here is what you do. You can visit the Goodreads Home Page, then click on the Find and add books to your shelves button which will take you to the search page. Then simply click on the Manually Add a Book button on the top right. Next, you just need to input your book info.

Here’s what you need:

1. Title and author name (*If your book is part of a series, you should add “Part One” or “Part Two” to the end of the title to alert the reader.)
2. ISBN (If you don’t know this, you can find it on the Imprint page of your BookRix book, you can also usually find it on Amazon – if not, contact our support and we’ll help you.)
3. Publisher (BookRix GmbH & Co. KG)
4. Date published (Again, if you’re not sure of the exact date, you can find it on Amazon, or on the imprint page of your BookRix book.)
5. Number of pages (If your book is a short story, just leave this part blank.)
6. Format (In this case, you would always select eBook.)
7. Edition (You only enter information here if you have published more than one edition.)
8. Description or Blurb (Just copy and paste it!)
9. Edition Language
10. Cover image (This is so important – it’s on the top right hand side and allows you to upload a jpeg from your computer. Don’t skip this step or your book won’t have a cover and we all know how important that is for potential readers.)

There is one more thing that you should know about Goodreads – it was just bought by Amazon. That’s one more major reason why your eBook should be in their library. Just because you’re an indie author, doesn’t mean you should be left behind!

*Don’t forget to sign up for the Goodreads Author Program – then you’ll be able to create a personalized profile page and promote your books.

Free Writing Contest: Enter Your eBook to Win a Marketing Package



Be The Best Seller You Can Be!








The BookRix Young Adult Contest: Be The Best (Seller) You Can Be

Writing is your talent, your skill, and your greatness! Unfortunately, being an Indie Author comes with a downside: The grueling task of self-marketing. It’s a big, book-filled world out there, and without marketing, readers won’t know about you or your work. It’s kinda hard to be a Best Seller when nobody knows about your book, so let’s get you noticed!

Entering this contest could ease some of the pressures of marketing because BookRix will help you get your eBook out there to the world. Yes, we’re cool like that!

PRIZES:
The top 2 winners in this “Be The Best (Seller)” contest will each receive a MARKETING PACKAGE for special book promotions, when their winning eBook is distributed via the BookRix Self-Publishing Service. This Marketing Package includes being featured on the BookRix website /blog/Twitter & Facebook fan pages/newsletter, external book reviews, possible blog tours and exposure on external sites with a possible feature in an eBook shop. A custom cover and editing service could also be thrown into the mix because, like we said, we are cool like that!

GUIDELINES:
* You can only submit ONE entry so make sure that it’s your best work
*Anyone can enter however your story should be written for YOUNG ADULTS (YA) which is typically 13-17.
* Your entry CANNOT BE A BOOK FOR SALE
*Your entry MUST HAVE A COVER
* Your entry should be a novelette, 7,000 – 17,000 words and be a complete story (beginning, middle and end)
OR
*Your entry should be PART ONE OF A SERIES with a minimum of 4,000 words
OR
*If you are an over achiever (which we love!), feel free to enter a novel length book.

CONTEST DATES:
Submit your story in the thread, between April 3, 2013 through June 27, 2013 11a.m. EST, 4 p.m. London Time/GMT in the BookRix Free Writing Contests Entry Thread.

VOTING:
* One winner will be chosen by the BookRix Team and another winner will be chosen by the BookRix writing community, in a separate voting thread, from June 28 through July 8, 2013 11a.m. EST.
* Only quality books will be chosen so make sure that your entry is 100% proofread for spelling, grammar, syntax, etc.

HOW TO ENTER THE CONTEST:
Submit a link to your eBook in the contest entry thread, on or after April 3, 2013, in the group Writing Contests on BookRix.com.

BookRix is always looking for great books to have published and we are there to help you get the exposure you need to market your eBook to become a more successful author. This contest is designed to inspire great writing to give you the push that you need to get your best out there and for us to help you get it further.

Feel free to contact us if you have any questions.

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