Archives for the month of: June, 2018

As an independent, self-published author you could spend thousands of dollars to have your book professionally edited, produced and marketed. Despite what you’ve been told it would not guarantee success, in fact, you’d be lucky if you sold enough books to offset the costs.

 

Knowing this has made me reluctant to pay for these additional services.

 

Some would argue that’s the reason I’ve had no success. I’m too cheap to pay for the services of professionals to design my covers and edit my manuscripts.

 

That’s at least partially true, but I maintain the real reason is I’m still not a good enough writer.

 

I’ve done a lot of stuff to become a better writer, and it’s worked, up to a point. What I need now is someone educated and experienced who knows more about the fundamentals of the craft than I do to make constructive suggestions on how I can move forward. 

 

I need a skilled and credible editor.

 

With my last three novels, I’ve been fortunate to have three dedicated beta readers who have volunteered to read my manuscripts and found hundreds of typos, spelling mistakes and dropped words. They’ve improved the final product immeasurably and yet even after I incorporate all the corrections I still come across embarrassing errors.

 

But what’s worse, when preparing The Local Rag, my last full length novel, to submit to a competition, I noticed passages that were awkward and poorly written. They were examples of lazy writing, not digging deep enough, or, not having someone to push me to dig deeper. Someone credible who I trust.

 

There is a plethora of editing services on the internet from freelancers to large companies that tie in editing with other self-publishing services. For example BookBaby https://www.bookbaby.com/book-editing-services/

 

Copy editing as defined by BookBaby’s Editing Services site includes “a basic word-by-word edit that addresses grammar, usage, and consistency.”

 

Line editing according to BB is, “A more intensive structural edit that focuses on the finer aspects of language—the flow of ideas, transition elements, tone, and style,” as well as all the services performed in Copy Editing.

 

At BookBaby the cost of Copy Editing is $7.00 per page; line editing $10 per page. At 255 pages, it would cost $2250 to have The Local Rag line edited.

 

To recover that cost, I would have to sell 1,020 copies of the paperback edition or 1607 ebooks.

 

Well, that isn’t going to happen.

 

What about a computer program that is inexpensive (preferably free) and would at least eliminate most of the errors that were being missed by my beta readers and repeatedly by me?

 

ProWritingAid claims to be “your personal writing coach, grammar guru, style editor and writing mentor in one software package.” It also has a free version that allows you to upload articles to a maximum of 500 words.

 

I tried it and was impressed. I checked out a few others and liked Grammarly as well because it focuses on grammar and punctuation and ease of use.

 

I experimented by uploading chapters of The Local Rag first into ProWritingAid for style suggestions and mentoring(?) and then taking that version with the changes I made and putting it through Grammarly for one final check for grammar and punctuation.

 

Not only have these two programs eliminated errors, but ProWritingAid has also prompted me to improve things like passive writing, sticky sentences and shows me where opportunities to show rather than tell.

 

A year’s subscription to Grammarly cost me USD 139.00. I found  25% off coupon for ProWritingAid to bring my annual fee down to USD 37.50.

 

I plan to ask my beta readers to comment more on the story, now that they don’t have to worry about what amounts to proofreading. Addressing issues like was the opening compelling, did you find the main character sympathetic, was the dialogue authentic, what parts were boring (bogged down in back-story), what parts were exciting (if any), plot glitches, and overall, how could the story be improved would be illuminating.

 

Frequently, traditional publishers will release a work of fiction by a famous person. Because of author’s fame in other endeavours and the curiosity factor of the public, it’s a guarantee that the books by these first-time authors will make money. I make a point of reading these books to remind myself that even the best editors, the most creative cover designers, and a full-press marketing campaign complete with a book tour can’t make a bad book good.

 

The most recent example of a “celebrity book” that all the professional services in the world couldn’t save was Crying for the Moon by Mary Walsh, a comic icon in Canada.

The next one likely one will be Full Disclosure, the first novel, a thriller, by the former Chief Justice of Canada, Beverley McLachlin.

 

You’d think these authors, who have risen to the top of their profession, might have some insights into areas you and I don’t. Maybe they do. But most are long on hubris and short on writing craft and whatever inside information they have isn’t worth the effort of reading their book.

 

I’ll find out if this is the case with McLachlin by and by; I’m number 134 on the list to borrow her book from my local library.

 

This is the long way of saying editing services, online or provided by a real person, without a doubt will improve your writing. But no matter how much you pay them they can’t make a silk purse out of sow’s ear.

 

I take some consolation in that.

 

Stay Calm, Be Brave, Watch for the Signs

 

Website links associated with this blog:

BookBaby Editing Services https://www.bookbaby.com/book-editing-services/

Grammarly: https://www.grammarly.com/

ProWritingAid: https://prowritingaid.com/

 

Author’s Amazon Page  https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B003DS6LEU

 

Original post:
rodraglin.booklikes.com/post/1766328/book-editing-the-rise-of-the-machine-and-the-reduction-in-cost

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Do targeted email blasts generate sustained book sales?

In the ongoing quest to find effective marketing tools for my nine novels and two plays, I’ve compiled a list of over two hundred email addresses of those who have expressed some interest in my books. Sending them an email has become part of every book launch.

My email blasts consist of three themed emails space two weeks apart. Each one offers the coupon code for a free e-book edition of the novel.

The response of my last blast was: opened 20%; clicked 6%; reviews 2

Many sites provide a similar service for a fee. For $25.00, Free Kindle Books http://fkbt.com/for-authors/ will include your book in a daily post to 750,000 addresses of which they claim 100,000 take action or about 13%. Take action does not mean buy, read or review your book.

Is this a good way to market a new release? Will it enhance sales of my backlist? How to tell?

Why not take a look at the results another author, Matt Manochio http://www.mattmanochio.com got from email blasts.

In his 2015 blog entitled Lessons in Advertising my Ebook, Manochio meticulously documented his experience

https://mattmanochio.wordpress.com/2015/04/09/lessons-in-advertising-my-ebook-what-worked-what-didnt/

I have no idea how I came upon this information, but it is a caution that once you post on the internet, it never goes away.

To summarize, he used fourteen sites, spent $500 and sold approximately 1100 books @ 99¢. After the publisher’s cut (he wasn’t self-published), he concluded he broke even.

He also got some amazing short-term results with his book hitting #411 on the paid Kindle list and single-digit ranking in its respective genre. These numbers, however, were not sustained and currently, the book he was promoting is on the Amazon Best Sellers ranking at #2,012,826

If you deeply discount your book and send it to hundreds of thousands of people, some are going to open it, some even read it.

It’s what happens after that’s important. Does this investment enhance sales of your backlist at the regular price?

In Manochio’s case did this happen?

Looking at the author’s website and considering what he’s written since, and where his books currently rank I’d say no, though it does sound like he had a hell of an exciting ride for a couple of weeks.

Will I consider email blasts in the future for my books keeping in mind that  few of my novels may not be eligible on some sites since they don’t have the required number of reviews or may not be considered to have a professional cover?

Maybe. In some cases, it’s less expensive than sending a paperback edition of your book to a reviewer.

The real payoff though won’t be a blip in ranking, but rather if the book they got cheap was good enough to encourage them to buy one of my other titles at full price.

 

Stay calm, be brave, watch for the signs.

Some Email blast sites:

BookSends   https://booksends.com/expanded_guidelines.php

EReader News Today   https://ereadernewstoday.com/bargain-and-free-book-submissions/

Buck Books   http://buckbooks.net/

Free Kindle Books and Tips   http://fkbt.com/for-authors/

Digital Books Today https://digitalbooktoday.com/

BookBub https://www.bookbub.com/home/

 

Amazon Author Page https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B003DS6LEU

Facebook

https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100013287676486

 

 

Original post:
rodraglin.booklikes.com/post/1764852/do-targeted-email-blasts-generate-sustained-book-sales

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