Book Blog Tours

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It is time for me to invest in a book blog tour or two in order to get some more word out there about my ebooks. I’ve done some research on the best blog tours for your buck and so on and thought I’d share it with you in case you’re also interested in blog tours.

1.Blog Tours Are Pricey-ish

I’m an indie author still waiting to get my first cheque from Amazon, so the idea of paying someone $80 to $150 for a week’s worth of blog tours and reviews is steep.

On the other hand, sometimes an up front investment in marketing can be just the thing to boost book sales and move your ranking on Amazon to a better position. I get it.

I am not really a cheapskate, but the angsty artist chick inside of me bristled at the idea of paying so much for a service that claims to help indie writers. That said, it’s not a writer’s world and so it is what it is.

2. Most blog tours focus in YA and romance genres

My two most recent books are neither romance nor young adult, so it’s a little tougher to find a blog tour with a more alternative readership. The ones that specialize in multiple genres require more of an investment.

3. Many blog tours offer more than just blog tours

If you’re really strapped for cash, some blog tour providers offer book cover reveals and book blitzes for a fraction of the cost. I think it’s a smart idea for both parties. Some will even provide you with book reviewers if you can give them free copies to read.

I’ll likely invest in a book reveal blitz for my next publication. :)

4. Blog tours save you a lot of time

It does induce a sigh of relief at the idea of someone taking care of my book marketing for a week or two. Despite the surprisingly high cost (In my opinion), I can’t deny that I want the opportunity to be interviewed about my book, to have other readers who have never heard of my blog read an excerpt about my book, etc.

Writers want to write first and foremost. The idea of someone taking care of business is attractive.

5. Blog tour operators like Paypal

I don’t use Paypal for my own reasons. I had a blogger reply to me with an affordable book marketing option, and without asking, she said that once she received my payment through Paypal, that would be my consent for her to run my blog tour.

It was tough for me to decline, but I find it unprofessional to not offer direct email money transfer. If someone is willing to pay for a service, they should be given more than one option.

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That’s my take on the blog tour industry to date. I’ll keep on searching, and take my time. I’m not letting myself become jaded, and at the end of the day, I’ll probably have to splurge on the service that will give me the best results.

I’ll let you all know when my blog tour runs! :)

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Writers, what has your experience been with blog tours?  Do you have a blog tour service that you can recommend? Do you know of any blog tours that do not require Paypal payments? 

Cheers! 

(Image Taken From http://www.everystockphoto.com. Titled as “Malecón”)

 

 

 

How to Deal With a Negative Book Review

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So, you’ve recently published your book. After seeing some glowing reviews from satisfied readers, you check back again and notice one nasty little one star review. What do you do?

Do not reply to the review! Even if the review was left by a troll or by a reviewer who prides themselves in trashing writer’s books, do not take the bait. People who look at your reviews might not purchase your book if they see a stream of comments between you and a reviewer debating about why they should have loved your book. Stay professional.

Take a deep breath. You cannot please everyone. This is a fact of life. Many times, bad reviews are very subjective and reveal more about a reader’s tastes than about your writing. Perhaps they wanted more romance from your book, or they did not enjoy the violence. Sometimes, all it takes is one wrong word to agitate a reader enough to stop reading and leave a review. It sucks, yes, but there’s a bright side to this.

Remember all writers get bad reviews. Yes, every best seller gets one star reviews, too. There’s actually a really funny article about literary classics who received one star reviews from readers. It is funny, because it goes to show how taste differs between every individual. People from different backgrounds, education levels, and walks of life will be reading your book.

Think about the legitimacy. It might strike a reader as odd if all of your reviews are glowing five star ratings. As much as nasty reviews suck, just remember how it makes you look more legitimate as a writer. Remember, every famous author gets raked over the coals by certain readers, too. Reputable websites do not tamper with reviews and that makes your work of fiction look reputable in turn.

Use it as constructive criticism. Use that awful little one star as motivation to write your next book with, perhaps, a little more care and detail. Even if there’s nothing wrong with what you wrote, it’s interesting to many authors to discover little quirks and writing habits that don’t resonate well with people. You can even take pride in the fact that your book caters more to a niche market.

Ignore it. That’s right. It’s a little traumatic to read a one star review from a reader that clearly never connected with your book, but it is better for you to ignore it and keep writing. Focus on the good reviews and cherish the readers who connected with your characters and story.

How I Handled It

I got my first one star review a couple of days ago, and it did not bother me that much. Obviously, no one wants a bad review, but when I read that the reader was simply confused by the story, it actually made me feel sort of good. I do aim to write more for a niche market.

Of course, I would love for everyone to enjoy my book, but I know what a lot of people enjoy reading, and I think that my stories are different. My writing is like my mind. It’s quirky, dreamy, and it might be hard to understand unless you happen to be pretty philosophical yourself.

I didn’t get upset. I didn’t reply. Never, ever reply to reviews.

After a little annoyance, I laughed about it and shrugged it off. Then I thought of writing this post! :)

By the way, out of curiosity, I took a look at other things this reader reviewed other than my book, and I saw that she rated Fast and Furious 5 with five stars. That explained everything. ;)

The Suicides: On Amazon Kindle Today!

My historical novella, The Suicides, is now available in the Kindle store on Amazon! It’s set in the late 1800’s and it has a gothic flair.

Get your FREE copy on Amazon Kindle today (Dec. 7) until the end of Wednesday (Dec. 9)!

Excerpt from The Suicides, Chapter One:

“Be careful. People have been talking about your curiosity about the suicides. You must understand that they are not impressed with your book idea.”

“I do, but this is a project that I hope to finish.”

“You will discover things that you wish you hadn’t.”

I cleared my throat. “I am prepared.”

“Are you certain?”

Her expression matched that of my moral philosophy professor before he attempted to trap me during a classroom debate.

“What in the world are you attempting to convey to me?” I asked.

She shrugged and turned away. “Forgive me. Do as you wish.”

“Good evening, then, Ma’am.”

I strode down the busy street shaking my head. Sarah seemed to suggest that some sort of doom would befall everyone should I dig too deep into the lives of the suicides. The last thing that I needed was more discouragement. I had only been in Sunny Harbour for a few days and I was already causing a bit of a stir. I needed to find better ways to glean for information.

What I wanted to find most of all was the place where the suicides’ bodies were tossed. I hated going to bed at night thinking about them never being paid the respect of a proper burial. I sometimes dreamed of them being tossed into the river, sent to drift away only to be eaten away by things that appeared only in nightmares and gruesome tales. It was yet another reminder to me of life’s darkness. It hovered over people whether or not they wished to acknowledge its presence. No matter what humans did to catch a wink of light, the darkness never stayed away for long.

The Suicides Cover copy 2

How to Format Your Own Word Document For Create Space (Print Book)

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I thought I would go over how to format a Word document to be fit for Create Space.

  1. Get Rid of All Your Previous Formatting – This is the time to switch everything back to single space. If you used “Tab” or “Enter” to indent paragraphs, set them back to no indentation. There is a better way to indent paragraphs which I will go over after. :) If you used “Enter” several times to separate your chapters, remove that separation. Basically, make it all as simple as possible. Everything is single spaced with no extra formatting.
  2. Set Your Page Layout – Paperback books are sized at 6″ x 9″. Go to Page Layout –> Size –> More Paper Sizes. Set the width and height for your book’s final trim size to 6″ x 9″. Be sure to choose “Apply to Whole Document” on the drop down menu at the bottom.
  3. Margins – Go to Page Layout –> Margins –> Custom Margins. The exact requirements for this will depend on your page #. Go here to see exact inside and outside margin requirements. For my story which is only 33 pages, the gutter margin was .325″. The outside margin was .25″. I then used .5″ margins for both top and bottom. Gutter position should be set to “Left”. 
  4. Indent Paragraphs – Go to Home –> Paragraph. Select “First Line”. Set it to .5″. You can highlight the entire page/entire document to make this faster.
  5. Formatting Chapter Separations – Remember to never separate Chapters by hitting Enter until it reaches the next page. This will ruin the formatting once you submit it to Create Space. Instead, use Page Break before each chapter to properly format.
  6. Page Numbering and Headers – Go to Insert –> Headers and Footers. Select “Different First Page” to prevent numbering from starting on your first page.
  7. Deleting Headers/ Page Numbers From Specific Pages – If you do not want numbering and headers to start, say, until page 5, then what you do is go to the Breaks option again. Under Section Breaks go to Next Page. This should delete headers and page numbers from that specific page if you have a Mac. If not, then this link is a valuable tool with pictures and a step by step guide on how to complete this process with ease.
  8. Save document as a .PDF file.

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Do you have anything that you would like to add?

I hope that this was straight forward. It personally took me a whole evening to format my Word document for Create Space, but I hope that with all the information in one place, this could help someone go over the process much faster.

Cheers, bloggers!

Eve & Adam Will Be Published This Weekend

So full of life, she seemed. He wanted to hate her for that. – Eve & Adam 

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Eve & Adam is going to be published this Saturday!

I am going to be running a promotion for the e-book on Amazon. For its first three days, it will be free! I am excited to bring Eve & Adam out into the world since the story’s birth in Kananaskis, Alberta over two years ago. It was written during my first month living in those amazing Rockies of the Bow Valley – that natural beauty and solitude surrounding me after work gave me such inspiration to write what was pressing on my heart.

I dedicate Eve & Adam to all of the dreamers of the world!

*** The Print Book ***

I will keep you posted on the print book’s release date! I have to do a test run, wait for it to come in the mail, and then notify Create Space (Amazon) that it is good to go – and if I want to make changes, I will need to repeat the process. (A little FYI for fellow indie authors who haven’t published a print book yet!) 

Thank you all for reading! <3

(Photo Source: http://www.everystockphoto.com)

The Editor Gift

Life can be very giving sometimes. I would have never guessed that my old boss from five years ago would drop me a line on LinkedIn to see how my writing was going. We exchanged a couple of messages and it turns out that he has published a couple of novels himself. He had been a journalist and newspaper editor before starting a couple of different companies. Lo and behold, he has offered to edit my short story for me free of charge over the next few weeks.

Editors often charge very high rates (Once I paid $1,000 to an experienced editor for a novel I chose to self-publish. I am never doing that again). Even affordable editors can be a stretch to your finances when you’re in a low paying job and trying to save money to, you know, do life. This has reminded me (And hopefully you) that networking is key in any industry for your own success, and it can save you a lot of time and cost as a writer.

So, now that I have my short story, Eve & Adam, in the hands of an editor for free, I can start to see the publishing date in the horizon. I will keep you posted on the release date for Eve & Adam.

Happy writing/editing everyone! :)

Book Cover Reveal: Eve & Adam

My sister, Jessica Kjeldsen, has designed my book cover for a short story I’m planning to publish soon. I’m really excited that Eve & Adam will be live soon – probably in November! The cover design’s whimsical, hopeful appearance is what I had hoped it would be, because it’s both ironic and symbolic. We’re both into covers that shy away from the cliche of a woman looking off into the distance. I am very grateful that she could really grasp the feel of my story and be able to design it.

So, here is the cover! Let me know what you think, if you wish. :)

Design by Jessica Kjeldsen
Design by Jessica Kjeldsen

The Red Coat and The Red Head eBook – Free Today Until Monday!

My newest ebook The Red Coat and The Red Head will be free for five days, starting today! Now is your chance to download a historical adventure short story free of charge.

What is it about? Two young free thinkers who are caught in the middle of a revolution.

The Red Coat and The Red Head is a short story set during the American Revolution. A young British officer, Jon, deserts the army when he cannot cope with his best friend’s death. He runs into a Colonial girl named Jil who is against war, despite her patriot loyalties.

When three British colonels surround Jil’s home, she and Jon ride away. They long to escape from the terrible violence that has soaked the atmosphere in Boston and turn their misfortune into an adventure.

But will the war catch up with them and quench the freedom that they long for?
Please let me know what you think and feel free of course to leave a review on Amazon or Good Reads. :)

I was hoping to make the promotion last longer, but at this point, the longest free promotion you can run on Amazon is 5 days.

I appreciate your support, as always!

The Red Coat and The Red Head Book Cover

After some thought, I thought that it would be better to publish each of my short stories as separate entities. I may do a book of multiple short stories in the future, but my story about two young people trapped in an era of revolution and war will be a stand alone.

Here is the cover for The Red Coat and The Red Head. It was designed by my talented younger sister, Jessica Kjeldsen. You will be seeing more of her in the future.

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I love how she captured the mood of the tale, and the setting mirrors that special place they had away from the violence.

I plan to publish The Red Coat and The Red Head by the end of this week. Best of all, it will be FREE!