Three Important Tips To Receive More Reviews

Face it. Books are hard enough to sell with reviews than without them. Some people go to extremes to get them. Buying reviews? Forget about it. Begging for reviews? Nah! Lucking up on reviews? Possible.

(PART A)

People are always asking about “How to get more reviews of their products?” One of the best ways to find reviewers is to go directly to the source.

Everyone should know that more good reviews make the product have increased appeal to others that might be interested in buying. Products with descriptive reviews with 3, 4 or 5 star ratings simply sell better than those with no reviews.

But why are reviews that important? They generate more interest in the product and add the information needed that helps the buyer make a decision on whether to purchase. The ability to read what other customers have to say about a product is a huge advantage to consumers.

Asking others to review your product or book is about as bad as asking them to buy it. Nobody wants to be pushed into anything. So what steps do you take to ask for a review of your product?

First, you have to find that resource where all they do is review other products. These people don’t mind reviewing items if its’ something interesting to them. At the bottom of this post is the link to that source.

Second, once you are on the site you need to do your research, which let me warn you will take considerable time out of your schedule. If you expect things to happen, you must invest something, which in this case is your time. Find someone that interest you on the site and click to open their page profile where you can read about them and see the products they have reviewed.

This will work more in your favor if you will work down the list considerably towards the middle. These reviewers are trying to improve their rating to move forward to the front of the list. Their profile page will give you a great deal of information about them. It also provides you with contact information.

All the information provided will either makes you decide to contact them to seek a review of your product or move forward to others. If you do contact a reviewer, do it through their email address, offering to gift your product to them in return for their opinion about it in return. Please note: Verified reviews carry more clout because they are a verified purchase through Amazon. Make sure that they are interested in your product whether it is a book about romance, science fiction, mystery, etc.

The Link: http://www.amazon.com/reviews/top-reviewers/ref=cm_pdp_top_reviewers

(PART B)

Another way to receive reviews is on your social media outlets. No, you don’t post on there that you want reviews. You get to know people through social networking first and become good friends with them over time.

After some passage of time, you might one day be talking with them about something and it relates to your product or book. That is when you bring it into the subject. Offer them one free if possible in exchange for their thoughts in a review of the product. Most people will be very happy to help you out in order to receive a free gift in return.

(PART C)

Take the opportunity to join many of the very useful book blogging websites available on the Internet. Some site owners will offer you a review of your book and promotional space free or for a small fee on their sites. Not only can you get exposure with a possible review, the owner might ask you if you would be interested in being featured in an interview.

It is another golden opportunity to gain reviews and additional exposure for your brand. This is another area where you will have to devote substantial time out of your schedule to locate these websites or you can go right to those resources here in “The Best Book Blogs on the Web;” on a previous post.

There are always other opportunities to explore in order to receive reviews but here today, I offered you three ways to gain reviews. Always remember that the steps you start taking today produce the results achieved tomorrow.

My Free Gift To You

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I “don’t do this often” so take advantage of it and have a cool go-to resource of information available with the click of a button.

This book is a great collection of websites and blogs that I combined together to help other Authors and Writers in their quest to find the answers that they need easily without wasting hours searching. It also contains some nifty websites to add your books online to further create exposure. Also includes many writing resources to help both Authors and Writers hone their skills.

I just don’t have the time available to add it on the free websites. All I ask others in return for a great free gift here is to spread the word to your friends about where they can get this cool resource tool. You can do that through Twitter, Facebook or any of the other media outlets. My goodness, you can do it by word of mouth but anyway I hope it helps tremendously.

The Best Book Blogs on the Web

Available free starting Thursday July 24,2014 through July 26,2014 (3-Days)
United States

United Kingdom

Canada

Managing Time Wisely From Any Location

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For those of us that are lucky enough to work from home each day, the management of our time is crucial in order to keep the income flowing. One of the great things you take away from the freedom of being in your own business is that freedom.

One of the definitions of freedom is being able to do what you wish, but that isn’t always the case when you operate a business on the home front. Major distractions come along to ruin tasks through the week that had to be completed. Maybe a disruption of some kind happened during one day with a freak thunderstorm knocking out power service in your area causing havoc on projects planned for that day. You know the drill. That work has to be made up, adding to your workload.

Making a Project List The Night Before

No matter who we are, a good idea to keep in mind is going over what must be done the next business day and developing a list. This is important because it prevents us from having so much on our minds to try to remember.

Instead of waking on the next day thinking back on what has to get done, we can jump on the list with the morning coffee. Work seems to be easier to do with a pre-made list from the night before. Instead of forgetting to complete a task, we know everything on the list will be done as we check off on each assignment.

Remember this, operating a business huge or small has to have time management. They will be times when social media is a no-no. They will be other times when multitasking has to be done. In fact, they are times when we all want to take a much-needed break but the workload just won’t allow it.

Abilities To work from Anywhere

With today’s technologies, we CAN work from just about any location that we please. The great thing about this is that we are no longer limited to a business location, home or office.

You can work from a chair on the beach with a portable fully charged laptop and that handy cell phone while sipping a drink. A hotel room taking a mini-vacation doesn’t necessarily mean that work is off limits. If your business requires you to work while away, then so be it.

Many take frequent trips to get away from it all but in reality; their business goes right along with them. They wake in the mornings and go back to work if something has to be completed by a scheduled time. No matter where you are, business can be performed in some nature.

How I Manage Time

Have you ever heard the phrase, “There is just not enough time in the day to do all that I have to do?” I have heard it out of many others. They make excuses for why they can’t accomplish things because they have no idea how to manage time.

My workweek generally starts on Sunday night when I make that next day’s list to be completed. Typically, my day starts around 8:30 in the mornings averaging into late at night. During the day, I might have to do the “honey list” also in-between work but that is part of family, and it is a necessary part of it. Before the day ends, that list has been completed, hers and mine.

Before leaving my desk, a list is drawn up for the following day on what has to be completed, and it is the same routine the next day. I usually work six days a week, but sometimes I have a chance to take a weekday off to be with the family.

Many times, I’m not at home when at work. I may be off on a leisure trip or getaway to relax in another location, but all the work with business still gets accomplished. You can make time either work in your advantage or let time be your worse enemy.

In conclusion, I want you to ask yourself one question if you operate a business for yourself. “How do I manage my time?” You might find that time is being wasted in a technological age where it shouldn’t happen.

So, you wish to pursue an Indie Author Self-Publishing Career? (Part 3) …… “Key-Word Management & Writing a Book Series”

(I know many have waited awhile to read “Part 3” of this article series. Too much work and not much rest have taken a toll on me lately so I decided to take a break from working for others during the summer months. I will spend more time devoted to other areas while vacationing some while the weather is great.)
Key-Word Management because Key Words are King

Meta-data, search engine optimization, algorithms and key word placement can be overwhelming to a writer. What is it that Authors can do to get their books seen by more eyes? The answer is adding more power to your books!

Well, books are not selling like I thought they would BM. It is frustrating to me to continue to write them with lack of sales. I seem like I’m getting nowhere.

Remember where it tells you to add 7 keywords that relate to your book on the Amazon book upload page?

You can make that work for your book(s) in your favor. All you have to do is this. Instead of typing in as an example for a kinky romance novel type book; love, lust, sex, romance, cheating, date, etc. on those seven keywords with commas, cluster them together like this; (Remember to use commas)
love lust sex romance cheating date etc,
“Add next keywords or phrase,”
“Add next keyword or phrase,”
and continue this process until you have seven keywords or phrases separated by commas.

You can also research other categories that your book could be listed in and add them into the keywords separated by commas. This will give you more than the two categories that show up that your book is generally listed in. Try it on just one book and wait a day or so and check the results. You should find out that the book is showing up in more categories and might be in the top 100 paid sales in some of those categories.

The real key to doing this successfully is by taking the time to doing great research to achieve the required results. You might have a great reading novel that has limited sales because readers can’t find your book under the multitudes of books on the website. That is your fault because you can correct it to improve your books visibility by doing a one-time process here. Of course, once you see that it works, you might find yourself going in there to tweak the books again to get more and better results.

Adding keyword phrases instead of using one keyword separated by a comma gives you additional opportunity for readers to find your book(s). A non-fiction book on photography and using a Nikon camera could include a few key word phrases such as, “Using artificial light with a Nikon camera, taking photographs with a tripod, making images of people in cities and tourists areas, taking beautiful pictures while on vacation at the beach and mountains, learning to make tact sharp images using a tripod with a camera, using Nikon cameras and equipment to become a professional wedding photographer, photography mastery by learning how to use all the camera settings on a dslr camera.”

That is seven key word phrases above with loads of power to help people find that book on photography. Much better than Nikon, camera, equipment, tripod, photography, images, photographs.

You could research book categories on Amazon and substitute a few of those word phrases with extra categories to get the book into more book categories in Amazon. There is a tremendous opportunity to improve the success of you books if you only take the time to do it properly. Amazon doesn’t have a specific tool to check keywords but it does have an auto-populate tool that enables you to see a drop-down of specific words or phrases. Use it during research to get good results. Just make sure all of this is associated within the contents of your book because you surely wont like your book showing up under a wrong category.
Writing a Book Series that Sells

Every Author or Writer is different. They have different likes and tastes on just about everything and hardly ever will two of them agree. Strange but true as the world continues to turn. What works for one might not necessarily work for another but usually out of several successful strategies, one of them will work for you.

The key is finding which one will work for you to produce the best results. You have to hook them with good bait. That bait is a great reading first book in a series that you give away as a loss leader. That first perma-free book is a loss for you because you had to spend many hours writing it. That first book you make no money on is the one that draws readers into “your world.” They read your free book and they begin to like you. Next thing you know, hundreds like your book. Soon thousands like you and want more books to read but this time they will pay to read your books. That is when you realize that free pays because you are making money.

Once you have a series going, then doing the next one is easier because you have a successful system in place and the reader fan base that will automatically chase after it. People in marketing that are trying to create passive income just don’t realize the tremendous opportunities in Indie publishing. After all, it is passive income and as long as you continue to write, publish and repeat, the income is there.

Oh, I wish I had the talent to write fiction but I don’t. It is a gift to those that can. I call it that because many just can’t sit and dream these wonderful stories up in their heads and put them on paper for others to read. For those Authors that can produce books so quickly from these thoughts and dreams in their heads, it is indeed a gift from a higher power.
Write What You Would Love To Read

Writers worry about what is selling the best to write instead of what they should be writing. Spending your time producing a product that really isn’t what you want to produce will certainly show up in future results. Time can never be recovered so invest your time wisely in producing the kind of books that you actually want to read. Everyone has certain talents for many different things. Just because a book or book series is number one doesn’t mean you need to write a book containing the same subject matter to produce your own acquired results.

Write from your own heart and soul. Pour it out on paper or the keyboard. You have to love what you are writing or you will be doomed to failure. This has to be repeated because it is powerful, “Write from your heart and soul.” If you do this, then only good things will happen for you. You think of some of the great Authors from the past and do you honestly believe that they found the way by copying others? No.

Writing what you would love to read is also giving readers something different and unique because you are unlike anyone else writing. You have your own way of creating a story so don’t let “doing it to make money” be the reason why you are writing.
Create Stories for Books That Haven’t Been Told

How many books seem to wander down the same road with the same kinds of characters, plots, endings and more of the same mediocre drama with only a different flavor to it. You might be the one that creates the next best selling book series by being unique and inventive in what you’re writing about and the character(s) you create.

Superman was created. So was Dracula. Hunger Games came out of the imagination of a writer. How many vampire or super hero books are on the market today? How many books are being written similar to Hunger Games? How many romance novels are on the market today? Think about these types of things when you are busy researching what you believe would be a great story to write about. Remember, you have to have some sort of outline inside your mind to begin the process.

Create a name for your series along with a great story that has never been told to enhance the process of thousands of readers finding you and that new book series. Having a unique pen name or using your real name with a little pizzazz added to it will certainly make you stand out as an Author in the Indie Publishing Market.
Pricing A Book Series

If I wrote a book series, for the first series this would be the philosophy I would use to gain readers first and then worry about the sales.

Treat the first book as a loss leader by giving it away perma-free. Second book in the series would be priced either at .99 cents or 1.99. Any other books that followed in the series would be 2.99, which would be a lot of time involved writing the first two books in the series for little return other than a large following of readers. The great thing about the first series is that after the second book story series was developed, I could make more money faster. Reason why? All those readers following me would most likely automatically jump at the chance to buy the books in the second series as quick as they came out.

Two, with the additional perma-free and popularity of the first book series, the second book story series will only increase the fan reader base which will give additional sales. This is what it is all about. Work hard in the beginning to have success in the future. Nothing is gained without some pain.
Will Advertising on the Right Channels Help?

Sure it will. For a beginning Author, perma-free and using the keyword section written earlier in the article will boost sales from the beginning. Time is your great ally. Buying advertisements is good after you reach a certain point of success to continue attracting new readers who might not know about your books or you.

Becoming business wise as well as being a great writing Author are the two most important things in the self-publishing world. Until you master both and use them wisely in what you write and how you market, the chances are lower for success.

(To be continued in Part 4 of – “So, You Wish To Pursue a Indie Author Career?”)

Patience with Self-Publishing

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1) Feed the Beast.
2) Feed him daily.
3) Feed him whenever you can.

The beast is in writing to self publish.

A very wise fellow once told me that the difference between those that work their “A” off and those that don’t are the lines that form around a person’s face from worrying about how they would make it financially each week.
How many times have we heard someone “out there” proclaim they can’t do something because they are broke? It certainly can’t be that they are broke from making a great income but simply because they refuse to manage their money as a tool.
Whether we make a lot of money from book sales or not, it is how you manage what you do take in as revenue that matters. We all should always remember that just because we might have had a great past month that it by no means will be a better month in the future for those profits.

It is one thing to be writing but add the marketing into it and BAM, you are in the retail business. A salesman or lady honing their craft looking for something new to try to do what? Sell More Books! Its a never ending cycle that will never ever let us slow down until one day, finally we find that we can’t do it anymore because of age or health reasons.
It is that hope that gives each one of us the drive to continue to push ourselves each day to be doing something “inside our business.” We do this from our past experiences from working for others. Most of us come from backgrounds where we worked for another person.

A ton of money can be made from writing. In Books, it is finding that successful formula that works. In Freelancing, its finding the right clients to be working for that pay the best on that market. You will find those that can never find that “Secret” to make money in writing. No matter what anyone does, time is a best friend by their side. Whether its writing Ebooks or writing for others, nothing will happen without time invested.
It would be nice if all we had to do was write, publish and repeat. Everything that we touch with keyboard and ink made us rich, famous or both. Anyone can do anything if they invest the time and commit themselves to the task. Very few have taken self-publishing and without due time made any decent money.

This is a marathon and not a sprint. It takes a few years to build any type of business into something successful. Those that jump onboard that think in six months the gold will be there will wake up to realize that they will need more time to progress. They will find out about ‘pain.” Those long nights invested in writing to publish yet another book. The pain of having to market their wares. Between time, pain and throwing in that “learning curve”, most self-publishing writers will be looking at least at a three year window. There is no sugar coating to this. Unless you give it your very best, your chances are going to diminish greatly. Until you invest those “Three Key Parts,” time, pain and the learning curve, it just never happens unless it was a lucky break.

You’re going to need more than sales off of one or two books to make a living with this in the future. The handwriting is on the wall by the sheer number of new books being published monthly. Many people out in the world STILL have no idea that they can write, buy, sell or even read books online yet. As those numbers constantly continue to grow, many will still need more time, increased pain and continuing the learning curve with whatever new changes that book markets like Amazon or the others incorporate.

New Books, many more new Authors entering the field and the tremendous challenges ahead will ensure that all, well most all of us will continue to strive towards that ultimate goal of producing a quality product that sells.

BM

Mr. Groundhog wasn’t kidding!

Beautiful Scene

Here we go once again with another possible “major winter storm” in the southeast. I think is was a week or so ago that our friends to the south of us in Atlanta were crippled by less than three inches of the white stuff? Someone dropped the ball on that one or at least it seems that way.

I changed directions this weekend because this winter weather moving into the southern states from this storm has the possibility of bringing much, much more snow with ice. This could be one of the worst storms to hit the southern region of the United States in a very long time. This is why it is important that people get ready by preparing now for possible power outages and other problems caused by this powerful storm.

According to weather forecast at present, this might be a combo storm which actually could be two individual storms back to back. The first storm would sweep across the southern states dropping rain, freezing rain, sleet and snow depending on where the low tracks. After the storm exits, the possibility exists for another new low to form off the Carolina coast pulling back into the eastern southern states with even more winter weather on top of what falls from the first storm.

We were watching the grounghogs forecast the weather predicitons for six more weeks of winter during the first part of February. Those furry friends have once again nailed the predictions they have a knack at predicting so well. Depending on how much and how quickly the temperatures drop will play an important role in this storm or storms that are predicted.

On the serious side, the calm before those possible winter storms is right now before us. This is the time for everyone who might be in the storms path to prepare. When winter storms hit the southeast, many of them don’t wreak havoc because either the cold air isn’t in place or the moisture content just hasn’t arrived when the cold is there.

I’m takng this weeks winter storms potential seriously and getting ready for what could possibly be a record breaking event unfolding. We shall soon know how it all plays out but over the years, the southern states have been extremely blessed by winter storms not living up to their forecasts. It is one thing to have snow but to have possible icy conditions on top of it is extremely dangerous and these storms could have deadly impacts on many other people.

The image above was from January 10, 2011. A beautiful wet snow fell during that day but the storm crippled the southeast yet again for days. The difference with that storm and the possible storms this week is the added mix of ice in the combination of freezing rain and sleet.

Don’t take these storms as another cry wolf call this week everyone. This could be a weather related history making event for the southeast this week so get prepared now during the calm before the storm. It is always better to be ready than sorry later!

Author’s Book turns to Gold

Venturing into the web world universe is something I do from time to time. Recently I ran upon an article post featuring a young lady. Her book will be the feature story in a new upcoming Lifetime Movie. Delaine Moore is the Author of that book. The title of the book is called, “The Secret S*x Life of a Single Mom.” The book can be found here http://www.amazon.com/dp/1580053866

I’m always excited as well as amazed at how an Author’s will to succeed takes them to the top of the mountain. It is stories like these that each one of us that writes should be proud to have a chance to read. This is a prime example why anyone who writes fiction novels should stay the course because you never know, it might be you up there in the batter’s box with a chance to hit that next homerun.

Keeping this post short here. I thought that many here might not have heard about this so that is the reason for a post. Here is the link to read more about Delaine Moore’s new movie, deal and book.

http://writersweekly.com/this_weeks_article/008375_01292014.html

BM

Show me the Money!

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Sure enough, we all will need more of it in 2014. The question is “Will you work for it?” I have numerous sites that pay you to write articles and those clients on those sites will pay you very well for the time and work required. Sometimes making money from books alone is not enough to keep our heads above water so we all have to find other solutions to maximize additional income opportunities.

I have a book on Amazon called “Article Writer Success.” In that book, you will find websites and blogs that pay you to write for them. That pay you can make is really good money if you will devote the time to earn it. After all, you are going to have to work somewhere unless you are rich or inherited a fortune from your family.

Are you serious about making money? Would you like to pursue a career in freelancing opportunities? Are you one of those people who grow tired of commuting to a job that you hate?

There is money to be made and things that you can conquer online in the web universe if you will seriously devote your time to attaining those life long goals you dream about. People can show you the opportunities but it is up to you alone as to whether you really want the kind of life that you might be constantly dreaming about.

As of this post, I’m currently working on a second book called “Article Writer Success, Volume 2.” In that book, more websites and blogs will be listed that pay you good money for writing for them. Most of the requirements of these companies are for you to provide identification and payment options on their application process.

I do a ton of freelance work as well as write books to publish on Amazon. In fact, I do very well with my career. You can say that I’m one of those people who took the initiative to make a living branching out on my own! The biggest thing about what I do today is that if you seriously take those same steps, you can achieve the same goals and make a good living also.

If you are a decent writer and seriously devote the time needed to freelancing, you can make money online. All of the websites on the web need information to fill their pages on websites and blogs. If you will perform the required tasks that the ones seeking writers ask for, you can make some great money for the work involved.

Here is the link to the first book, called “Article Writer Success.” http://www.amazon.com/Article-Writer-Success-Book-Master-ebook/dp/B00CRTEPIU —- Article Writer Success

Also, I included here some additional sites that you can check out that might be of interest to you below. I hope that some of you out there find an interest in freelancing from this article I posted on the site here. This is a 500 word plus article so you see how easy that it really can be?

http://www.bloggingpro.com/jobs/

http://blog.postjoint.com/write-for-us/

http://writersweekly.com/

http://writersweekly.com/misc/guidelines.php

That is only just a few above but to give you that general idea just what I’m explaining to you. 2014 has just begun so take advantage of opportunities that present themselves to you during this New Year. Good Luck out there on the journey!

BM

Writing with Style

It is said that a picture is worth a thousand words. Does it take a thousand words to get your message across? Whether you’re writing a new book or a simple article for submission to a website, here are a few tips that you should follow to get the most out of your work.

“Know what it is you want to say.” In order to write quality content, it helps greatly to have experience with the subject matter in that book or article. The more knowledge that the writer has on the subject makes it easier to tell the story. If that writer enjoys what they write about it only makes that story more interesting.

“Keeping it simple.” Readers know more about Writers that they follow than those Writers know about themselves. A Writer can’t fool their Readers by using word hypnosis on them. In other words, never change your writing style by using words that those readers are unaccustomed to reading in books or articles you are the Author of.

“Perfection from experience.” The more a Writer spends working in their craft, the better that they will become. If you don’t believe that is truth, take the time to explore that first manuscript or article you wrote.

“Pour your heart and soul into words written.” I read many books, articles and posts during the weeks out of the months. Sometimes, I’ll find something out there that is so well written that you just know that writer has written a perfect masterpiece. It will help make sales happen also.

Have you seen reviews on books where the reviewer claims they couldn’t put the book down? Those book stories were well written with an extreme seriousness to detail because that Author enjoyed writing the story just as much as those Readers enjoyed reading it. That is pouring your heart and soul into the story.

“Never force yourself to write.” Writing is all about something that you love and want to do. Look back over several months and you will remember certain times that you were writing that every sentence would flow like magic. That is called “The Zone.” During those periods, one can write hours upon hours in one sitting.

Sometimes, Writers will take breaks from writing because of “Writer’s Block.” Many try to train themselves into a daily habit of writing so many words per day. Writing is all about something you love and want to do. Never force yourself into a routine that will become stale. Write when you really want to and not because it is about making money. Never make writing, something you should love to do turn into something to worry about in regards to making money through the rush to produce books.

“Research! Research!” Oh yes, know everything about whatever it is in that story you’re writing about. For example, if you are explaining a scene in the 16th century of England about the clothing of that era in a book story, you best do that nifty little research so you’re accurate within those details in the book. Otherwise, you can bet a silver dollar that one of those readers of that story will inform you in a book review of mistakes made.

“The fear of what others might think or say about my writing.” Yes, it happens every single day on one website or another. You will find a new Writer or Author with this profound fear of publishing a new book or the same towards an article they posted somewhere online.

You need to put that fear behind you. Go read some of the comments posted on some of the most popular websites on highly targeted articles and you will see some of most ghastly use of words going today. As FDR once said, “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.”

I hope you enjoyed this little article and the tips offered from it help you in strengthening your desires to become a better writer. It is an extremely interesting subject and I may post more on it in the future.

BM

Christine Nolfi

Author of Contemporary Fiction

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