Twitter for Authors

If you’re an author, you need to be on Twitter. Facebook is great for reaching existing fans; Twitter is amazing at reaching future fans. Post your Twitter link below so we can all follow you. If you don’t have a page yet, make one and then post it!

Some key tips:

* Always include an image of some sort. Images are key on all social networking platforms. Even if it’s an image of your book with a mug of coffee, or your book with a cat, or just your book, use that image space.

* Always use 2-3 *popular* hashtags. Using a rarely-used hashtag is wasting your space. Don’t try to create hashtags. Use hashtags that have proven popularity. Rotate through new ones to draw in new eyeballs.

* Put #IARTG at the end of your account description, follow @IARTG, and occasionally use that hashtag. Occasionally retweet other authors who use that hashtag. That then encourages all those 66,000+ IARTG members to like and share your posts. Remember, Twitter is a community. You need to like and share other authors’ posts to have them do the same for you.

* Like and share posts relating to your topic area. Again, if all you do is post about yourself and never interact with anyone else, it’s unlikely people will interact with you. The more you behave like a community member, the more likely other members in the community will like, share, and support your posts.

Ask with any questions! Good luck!

Kindle First Generation Power Supply

I have a Kindle first generation ebook reader. Not the Kindle Fire first generation, which came later. I’m talking about the original white-case, black-and-white display first generation Kindle which released on November 19, 2007 and sold out in about five hours. This was when I was first releasing ebooks on Amazon and wanted to test out how they’d look. Back in those old days, there was barely any competition in the ebook market and being an author was lovely :).

This is the Kindle model D00111. It only displays in rudimentary black and white. The plastic case has an actual physical keyboard as part of its front. The case came in one color – white. There was even a scroll wheel on the right side to move through menus. That vertical bar over the scroll wheel would light up in silvery color to show where you were in the scroll length.

I have now lost my power supply :). It’s a circular / barrel shape supply. The power connector is NOT the trapezoid in the middle. That trapezoid – a USB 2.0 Mini Type B – is for connecting to a computer. The left port is a headphone jack. The power supply is on the right and is the very small – maybe 2mm across – round hole. Beneath the power port is a symbol with one long solid line over three dashed lines. Sounds like iChing to me :). It’s actually the symbol for a DC power supply.

I’ll note the Kindle manual says: “USB port — plug in the included USB cable to transfer content between your computer and your Kindle. Your Kindle will also accept a small trickle charge over USB that may extend your battery life if your computer’s USB port or powered USB hub provides power” – I haven’t found that to work very well.

Here is a stock photo of what the original power supply looked like. I remember having it. I can’t find it now.

Someone is selling a compatable power supply for over $20 which is highway robbery. I just need to know the size of the power supply to work with this. I know from the markings on the unit that it needs to be 5VDC and 2.0A. That part is easy enough.

Does anyone know the actual SIZE of this connector?

Build your Followers

I know an author who is striving to get a publisher. Today she was publicly whining that the publisher wanted to know her follower count – and that it was stupid because THE PUBLISHER was supposed to do all the work of selling her book for her. She’d done her part, writing it, the end.

I have a feeling that publicly venting like that is not the way to build a relationship with a publishing house. The publishing house has thousands of other manuscripts coming in weekly which are just as good. Undoubtedly a number of those come with authors who are eager to do their part of the marketing task.

If an author presents herself as unwilling to help at all, she automatically has created large barriers in the relationship. Given the thousands upon thousands of other authors eagerly competing for that same contract, why would any author deliberately downgrade their chances?

Tip: Don’t whine in public about how you’re unwilling to help support your book’s sales. If your follower count is low, work on building it up. If your marketing skills need help, take steps to build them. Your source manuscript may be great – but so are thousands of other manuscripts flooding the publisher.

Many of those authors will bring solid marketing systems and fan bases with them. If you want to compete against those, then compete.

Audiobooks and ACX

There are all sorts of reasons people use audiobooks. Many people have trouble reading, either because of age-related eyesight problems, genetic issues, or other challenges. There are people who have long commutes who like to use that time productively. There are people who listen while they jog or walk. If you neglect the audiobook segment of your potential fan base, that’s a massive number of readers you are abandoning.

And best of all, it’s wholly FREE to make an audiobook. So there’s no excuse not to have one.

Go to Log in with your Amazon account username and password. You’ll need to do a bit of basic setup in there and “claim” your book(s).

Now put those books out for narrators to apply to. You’ll want to supply a sample script for each. Most of the time you just take the first few pages of your book for them to read. If you’d rather use another section that involves more “voices” so you know how they’ll handle that, use another section. It’s up to you.

Now you sit back and let the narration samples roll in.

Listen to them. See what you like and dislike about them. Update your book description so that you help tune the narrators in to what you want.

Soon you’ll get a narrator who is absolutely perfect for your storyline. Then you make the offer. I suggest you go with the 50/50 revenue split with them. This applies to the AUDIOBOOK ONLY – not to any other book formats. It gives the narrator incentive to help you promote and publicize this book. Yes, you only get half the proceeds – but if you get far more sales, you also get more money overall.

The alternative is to pay them up to $200 for finished audio hour and keep the full proceeds. Me, I’d rather the narrator benefit from higher sales if they are helping drive those sales. After all, their efforts also promote my kindle and paperback versions as well.

The narrator will then start posting their readings chapter by chapter. You can make whatever suggestions and comments you want. They’ll re-record them. When you are all done, you approve the book, and it goes live! It goes live as “another version” of your existing book, tied to that same Amazon entry.

Ask with any questions. I just had narrators finish book 3 in my Wyoming series and book 2 in my Diner series. In both cases I absolutely adored the readings. You can click on either book cover to see what these series are about:

Let me know if you’d like to see either series in ebook format. If you want to try the audio format to see how it works, I have free coupon codes. Just let me know which you’d like to try and I’ll send the code along.

Ask with any questions! If you have books on Amazon, you absolutely should be doing this. If you aren’t, you’re losing out on a ton of “easy” “free” sales.

Diner Days are Here Again

I’m so so thrilled! My audio narrator for my Asperger’s mystery series set in Worcester lunchcar diners just finished book 2. That book is Diner Days are Here Again. I had tears in my eyes laughing while listening to her reading! She did an awesome job. It should be live soon.

Book 1, Diner Deeds Done Dirt Cheap, is free in Kindle format. Let me know if you’d like a coupon to hear book 1 for free in audio!

I’d love one more review to reach 30 ratings!

Twitter Tips

Twitter Tips

Many people have a negative impression of Twitter because of politics. That’s fine – it’s OK not to like Twitter. But you really need to learn how to USE Twitter to market your products. Twitter is the #1 best way to reach strangers about your books and products. Facebook primarily markets to your friends and fans. Twitter gets to those millions who have never heard of you.

If you don’t have a Twitter account yet, now’s the time to do it. Go to and sign up. It’s free. If nothing else, you can “like” our group’s posts to help us gain visibility. It takes no effort and helps us immensely. 

Here’s some tips when you’re ready to start making marketing posts on Twitter.

Every post should always have an image with it. The image catches the reader’s eyes. No image, and your post visibility drops like a stone.

A key on Twitter (and other social networks) is you want your post to be liked and shared, so others see it. That means you want to phrase your post to be intriguing, fun, etc. Something that a person would say “Yes I agree!”. It’s why inspirational quotes do so well. Post fun factoids. Post cute sayings. You’re a writer – you can simply post about writing sometimes. The more people who know about you and follow you, the more they will then see your book-related posts.

I write romance novels. Sure, 16% of romance novel readers are male. That’s fairly well known. But if I invested my time chasing those 16% to see my posts – never mind to publicly SHARE them – that would be an exercise in futility. It makes far more sense to focus on the 84% who are female and far more likely to be willing to publicly share that interest. Study your genre. Know your demographics. Target them and make posts that group would be eager to share.

Twitter has limited space. If you then use hashtags that nobody will ever see, that’s a waste of valuable space. Make sure every hashtag you use is a high-volume one. You can see that yourself by searching on them – like #MondayMotivation or #AmWriting or whatever you choose. See the results. If you only get a few results, don’t use it. Your aim here is to reach as many people as possible with each post.

Ask with any questions, and let me know what your Twitter account is! Even a few posts a week can make an immense difference in your projects and in helping all of us succeed!