I will always self-publish my books!

Marketing is the Hall Mark of Successful Sales
John R. Beyer July 10, 2017
From www.bookdaily.com

In 2012, Heather Hart published her book – Book Marketing 101: Marketing Your Book on a Shoestring Budget. One of the quotations is from Heather herself – “Book marketing is a skill: it takes knowledge, effort, and persistence to really be successful.”

This is true if you are publishing a traditional novel purchased by a publishing house or going it alone with an indie. Marketing is key if you want to have readers peruse the words you have spent countless months writing.

A writer wants to be read and a writer – either traditional of independent – knows that it is marketing which sells the material and reminds readers why you write.

Marketing isn’t easy though.

My first novel was an independent press and though I believed I had the skills to market it myself the sales were pretty dismal. I tried social media but not being an expert in that arena the amount of views was poor to almost nonexistent. At the time I wrote that novel, book stores were rarely offering signings for books independently published. Again, sales were not coming and I knew the next time I had to have a real plan to put the book out in the public’s eye.

Not to be put off I wrote another book and this time – of course, that meant nearly a decade and a half, and it was picked up by a traditional publisher. I signed the contract, waited for its release in 2013 and hoped royalties to fill up my bank account. It turned out that I shouldn’t have been waiting and hoping but moving as fast as I could to get the news out.

While writing my third novel I also started taking marketing seriously.

It should be noted that many or most houses do not market newbies or those authors without huge followings. It’s expensive, time consuming and a gamble the majority do not want to get involved with. Highly known authors – no problem. The average guy or gal like me and they don’t do much to push the title – it’s up to the author to get out in the public to market, market, and market.

I contacted local book stores who allowed me the opportunity to have signings in their stores. I wrote a script for the trailer for my book, acted in it along with some friends and filmed it myself along with some friends. Friends seem to be a common denominator here and truly needed as well as making it more fun.

I now do this every time I publish a novel.

A camera with a video function, a microphone with sound dampening like a wind muff and a tripod is really all that is needed for the filming. Of course, a basic idea of editing film is important but there are a lot of free online programs offered to help the amateur.

I started a blog, Facebook account, weebly author page, and joined free online author pages which do allow upgrades for advertising for relatively low cost.

The power of the Amazon Author Page and other sites like it are a must for any author – famous or not yet famous and not to be underestimated.

Research is the backbone for any good writing and I use research every time I want to market a book. There are deals out there for getting your name in front of readers and with a small amount of cash the advertising will do wonders for sales and author recognition.

With the sale of my fourth novel I hired a publicist. Again I needed an avenue to reach more and more audiences with radio interviews, blog guest spots, podcasts, book signings, and the such so I felt more comfortable having someone else doing the leg work so I could concentrate on writing my fifth for release in 2018.

But that doesn’t mean I don’t market myself still. I do and will continue to do so until my fingers can’t strike the keyboard any longer but then again – the books will have been written but my telling of the writing won’t be.

I’ll always self-market my works.

Alberta Sequeira

Books at www.amazon.com/author/albertasequeira
alberta.sequeira@gmail.com”>

Don’t change it, if it Works!!

Final Picture

Yes, this is the new book cover to What is and isn’t Working for the Alcoholic and Addict. LOVE IT! The cover is a statement in itself with what the book is about with substance abusers.

Everything comes with a price. What do they say, “If it Works, leave it alone?” Or something on that idea. My book is available with the new cover and ready to purchase with Kindle. In fact, it’s free if you belong to the Kindle Select.

My problem? I decided to change “ONE PAGE” near the end of my paper book in Create Space. A benefit with publishing your own book with them….if you don’t run into problems. All I wanted to do was update my old blog, email and website on this ONE PAGE.

I asked Create Space if they could delete the information on this one page for me or update it from their end, because my IMac doesn’t want to work with me getting my documents over to them.

“No” was their reply. I had to change it in my saved document and upload it again. Sounds easy? Try again. Because of page and section breaks in my documents, they all scrambled, jumped around and my breaks reappeared (the ones I had deleted in the first publication), header and footers sailed away with them ..the ones I had from the original book I had published the first time.

I worked over 10 days on this problem, spoke to 8 customer service representatives and someone from the support group; all professional and kind. No one knew the problem. I now realized that I couldn’t open Pages where I’m working from with my book.

How does a computer work one day or within the hour, and then from out of nowhere, your everyday function with it is GONE? No matter what I tried, my IMac faced me without giving me any information. They told me what to try, but nothing worked. So now, as I mentioned in another clip, it’s off to Best Buy.

I teach a 3 hour class on publishing your own book with Create Space and this is going to be a #1 fact that will be stressed. DO NOT ADD YOU CONTACT INFORMATION IN THE INTERIOR OF YOUR BOOK. If you need to change it years with a new publication, you may never get that manuscript up again.

Put ALL contact information on the back cover…..which I had. You can change your website, blog, or email at anytime or year if you have a new one, without interfering with the interior. I wanted the book professional with the new info and caused a nightmare.

My paperback will not be available for weeks or a month until the computer is fixed. If you have a Kindle, enjoy the book.

See all of Alberta’s books at www.amazon.com/author/albertasequeira

Writing sad scenes

by Ryan Casey from www.ryancasey.com

Writing sad scenes can be one of the trickiest things to perfect.
It’s so tempting to just tell the reader that your protagonist ‘was sad’, or bring the tears out in an attempt to show the reader emotions.
Both should be avoided.

Hold back the tears…
I know what you’re thinking; we cry when we’re sad, right?

Wrong. Well, not really wrong. I mean, sure, it happens from time to time; just not at every little thing. We don’t cry when the lawnmower breaks down, or cry when we stub our toe. We fight the tears. We feel a growing lump in our throat, and a stinging in our eyes. Everything around us becomes irrelevant… see where I’m going with this?

By listing just a couple of the internal sensations usually associated with sadness, I think I’ve created a more effective expression of the emotion already. Crying is, believe it or not, hard to relate to in fiction. In anything other than the most perfect scene, it can come across as bewildering and out of place.

Only bring the tears out when the character is at an absolute breaking point.
Make tears seem like a desperate last resort; an act of frenzy in impossible circumstances. That way, by bottling the emotions for the rest of the novel, it’ll make for an even more satisfying – and touching – release when it comes to writing sad scenes.

In defence of the emotionally fragile…
“But what if my character is genuinely sensitive?”

Well, there are exceptions, of course. If your character is suffering for one reason or another, then tears are fine, as long as they are consistently implemented.

As a real-life example of how tears can be used to effect, take a scene from my What We Saw manuscript. Without giving too much away: Adam, the character who likes to come across as a little bit of a tough-nut, cries about something whilst lying in bed. Liam, the protagonist and narrator, is thrown by this, and does not know how to react. Adam isn’t aware that Liam has noticed him crying, so it makes for an interesting dynamic, whereby the reader is able to voyeuristically ‘spy’ on Adam’s emotional release at the same time as Liam.
Adam does have a very valid reason to cry much more than he does, of which I won’t go into yet (tease!), but I feel that the battle to contain and suppress his sadness ultimately makes for a more moving book than if he were breaking down every few minutes. Breaking down is tiresome, so avoid using it repeatedly.

Laughing Donkey
If you’re struggling to ‘show’ emotion, think about your own feelings.
This doesn’t just apply for writing sad scenes, but for other emotions, too. Do you always laugh when you’re happy, or do you sometimes just feel your lips quivering at the sides, resisting a smile? Do you really growl when you’re angry? Are you a tiger?

Becca Puglisi and Angela Ackerman have written a great book on how to show, and not tell, effectively. It’s kind of a thesaurus of emotional responses, so it can be a great resource if you’re trying to put across an emotion. Thanks to Stuart Meczes for the tip on this one! His debut novel, The Awakening, is free for a few days, by the way, so do check it out.

What have we learned about writing sad scenes today?
Hold back the tears when expressing emotion, and try to identify alternatives
Make sure your character is at a breaking point if they cry, for full effectiveness. Showing the repression of emotion is often more effective than showing emotion.

_________________________
Alberta Sequeira

Website: http://www.albertasequeira.wordpress.com
Email: alberta.sequeira@gmail.com

Getting Agents or Publishing Yourself

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This decision has become a major problem with writers. Why? Today, a high percent of publishers want an agent to go through tons of query letters before they reach them. This way, the agent gets rid of what they call “Junk Mail.” Sad, because there might be a terrific story in that pile, but because if we don’t have the talent on how to word our description to our book, we lose out.

It’s bad enough we spend hundreds, and sometimes, thousands of dollars on an editor, and now we’re put in the spot to pay someone to write your query or book proposal. We, as writers, spends unbelievable money without any guarantee our query letter, book proposals or manuscripts themselves, will even be read. It’s true when they say everyone makes money off the writer, except the writer.

The healthy writers, mentally and physically, are the ones who write for fun and not fame. They don’t go through the months or years with their manuscripts on their desk and blowing dust off them. They don’t wait around for someone to say after eternity, “I’d like to see your work.” I had one lucky reply ten years ago to only get another reply months later, “Thank you, but it’s not what we want to publish.”

Is it worth waiting? Yes, a well-known publisher is the frosting on the cake. Then you have to wait 1-2 years for the publication, the editors may ask you to cut-down 100 pages or so. If the book does not sell enough to their liking, they can discontinue publishing your book. What if they go out of business?

Benefits with a Publisher: They get your books into bookstores, give you some spotlights on websites, get your book into libraries or other locations, maybe set you up on a book tour or send you some advancement with money to cover the tour. Remember, that gift of advanced money comes out of your royalties…if you make any.

One positive thing with an agent or a publisher, they do want you to succeed. If you make money, they make money. You may be the nicest person they met, but it’s a business to them.

But no matter how you publish your book, you still have to do the promoting. If you don’t get weak knees and shortness of breath from fear, you can talk and make decent money at small locations. Sell yourself, not your book. If you know what you are talking about, your books will move off the table.

I was told my another successful author, charge something…anything for talks or any event. Other wise, they will not take you seriously as a professional writer. Everyone will want you to fill in their gap at an event for free.

Don’t be afraid to charge. You worked for your talent, get paid for it.

Alberta Sequeira

Purchase Alberta’s books at www.amazon.com/author/albertasequeira

<a href="mailto:alberta.sequeira@gmail.com

Authors helping Authors

Alberta is a co-founder to Authors Without Borders (www.awb6.com) which formed back in 2007. At the time, six authors made up the group.  Now in 2016, we are four women who meet monthly and try to brainstorm on ideas to move ahead with our writing books, publishing, marketing, where we are headed, and what do we want to accomplish?

Advantage of becoming a group?

1. Support when depression hits!

2. Talking about what works and doesn’t

3. Sharing the expense of festivals and events

4. Offering workshops, talks, books signings as a group

5. Forming our own NBTV-95 Cable TV show for other authors with interviews in New Bedford, MA

6. Willie Pleasants has her own cable TV show in Boston, MA “Willie’s Web.”

7. The joy of just meeting once a month for lunch and talking about “whatever.”

awb-olive-garden

Authors Without Borders members.  Left front: Willie Pleasants (short stories and poetry), Joyce Keller Walsh (mysteries)

Right front: Pat Perry (fantasy and comedy), Alberta Sequeira (memoirs and non-fiction)  Visit us at www.awb6.com 

We’d love to hear from you. Any questions you need answered, send them to us at 6authors@awb6.com