Archive for reviews

Marketing Ideas to Increase Sales of Your Self-Published Novel

Posted in Marketing with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on August 19, 2017 by Dawn Ross

Marketing Increases Sales

I will soon be ready to publish my novel. This will be a great achievement, but it’s just the beginning. If I plan on selling the book, my next step is to market it. If I don’t market my book, no one will know it’s available, which means no one will know how good (or bad) it is. I have to market my novel so that people will know about it and hopefully, be encouraged to buy it.  Below are some ideas I have on how to market a self-published novel.

Keywords & Tags – Make sure that when you set your book up on its self-publishing platform that you use proper keywords and tags to identify your book. If your book is sci-fi, use the keyword sci-fi. Also consider the subgenre. Is it a space opera or is it cyberpunk, time travel, apocalyptic, hard science fiction, or another type of sci-fi subgenre? Is it for children, teens, or adults? Here is a good article about keywords for those of you planning on self-publishing on Amazon or CreateSpace – https://chrismcmullen.wordpress.com/2013/10/03/createspace-kindle-keyword-and-category-tips/

Multiple Publishing Platforms – If you publish your book on Amazon and/or CreateSpace, keep in mind that your book will only be sold on Amazon’s site. If you want your book sold on other sites, then you need to contact those other sites. By the way, if you self-publish on Smashwords, Smashwords automatically offers your book for sale on multiple book sites (as an e-book only, but e-books are currently outselling physical books and this is not likely to change).

Your Own Website – It’s so easy nowadays to set up your own website and/or blog. WordPress, Wix, and others allow you to do it for free. However, building your own website isn’t enough. You have to market it too. For a website, you have to consider SEO marketing. For a blog, you need to post regularly and about topics that would attract visitors who would be interested in your novel.

Social Media – Consider a Facebook fan page for your novel. Consider a Twitter account. Depending on your genre, you may even try Pinterest, Instagram, Snapchat, and others. Just be careful about spamming. You don’t want every single post to be about your novel. For example, sci-fi writers can post about new tech, new sci-fi authors, new tv shows or movies, and so on.

Paid Advertising – Advertise on social media sites such as Facebook or Twitter. Also, consider advertising on book selling sites. Amazon has such a service, as does many other book selling sites.

Local Events – One of my writer friends pays for a booth at local comicon events. Depending on your genre, you may also consider Renaissance festivals, gun shows, home shows, lawn & garden shows, art festivals, and so on. Keep in mind that sometimes booths at these events are rather expensive. I’ve seen booths cost as much as $500 for just a three-day event. It might help to have other paraphernalia for sale. My writer friend also sells t-shirts with art from his book covers on them, mugs, calendars, etc.

Book Signing – Ask your local coffee shops and books stores if you can do a book signing event. Be sure to advertise locally on Facebook groups, radio stations, your town’s website, and wherever else you can think of that would attract people appropriate to your genre.

Get Legitimate Reviews – Don’t ask your friends. You need to find the right sources or your reviews will mean nothing. Here is a good article that explains why – https://davidgaughran.wordpress.com/2017/07/19/when-reader-targeting-goes-wrong/#more-4479.

For legitimate reviews, try contacting websites that sell books to see if they do book reviews or if they know someone who does. Try bloggers who regularly review books of your genre. Be cautious of paying for reviews. Their reviews can come across as being biased. This doesn’t mean that you can’t pay someone for their time, but you will want to check out their previous reviews. If they always give good reviews, then no one will take their review of your novel seriously. You risk a bad review, but if your work is good enough you can balance it out with several legitimate good reviews. Besides, even bad reviews can get you publicity. Do you know how many bad reviews the Gothic horror novelist Stephen King gets? Lots.

I hope this list gives you some ideas on how to market your self-published novel. If you have any other ideas, feel free to share.

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2012 Prime Time TV Reviews – Sci-Fi / Fantasy

Posted in Reviews with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 29, 2012 by Dawn Ross

Once Upon a Time: The Complete First Season

I don’t watch much TV but I do need a mental break every now and then. Besides, sometimes sci-fi / fantasy television shows or movies inspire my creativity. Even the bad ones can ignite a spark. There are a few new sci-fi / fantasy shows on prime time TV this season and a few recurring ones that I’d like to mention. Here they are in no particular order:

Fringe, FOX, 5th Season
Fringe is a sci-fi television show on FOX. It was set in present time with the sci-fi elements being unexplainable but supposedly scientifically based events. I liked this show in its beginnings. It reminded me of X-Files. However, I always felt the two main characters Olivia Dunham and Peter Bishop were weak. I like Walter Bishop and Astrid better. Their quirkiness, especially Walter’s carried the show. However, I think the show has gotten way off base. It all started with the alternate universe and has now progressed in this fifth season to an alternate future. It’s been like starting out watching Lord of the Rings and suddenly finding Iron Man coming to save the day. It just doesn’t fit the original direction this TV show was going.

Arrow, CW, 1st Season
Being a huge fan of Batman, Spiderman, and other DC and Marvel comics, I really liked the idea of Arrow. But the backstory is too much like Bruce Wayne’s. I have to admit that the man who plays Arrow/Oliver Queen, Stephen Amell, is really hot but his character is not at all believable or even likable. I hate the love story too. All the characters are flat, but I am a bit intrigued by the character John Diggle and Walter Steele. I do like the darker aspect of Arrow as compared to the older Batman and I love the action, but the drama doesn’t entertain me.

Beauty and the Beast, CW, 1st Season
I loved the original Beauty and the Beast, especially Ron Pearlman, the man who played the beast. This version is different, but I like it too. The backstory is interesting and the plot just keeps getting better, especially with the recent twist of his violent blackouts. I do not care for Kristin Kreuk who plays Catherine. She is not a bad actress, per se, but I keep associating her with Lana Lang in Smallville who I got very tired of in that television series. Also, she is not really a believable detective. She is much too pretty and young-looking. Then again, Kate Beckett in Castle is a hot female detective too but she is a more mature woman and carries her role well. Jay Ryan who plays Vincent Keller makes a great beast. His character is more believable, although I think his on-again/off-again relationship with Catherine is wishy-washy.

Castle, ABC, 4th Season
This is not really sci-fi or fantasy but I brought up Kate Beckett in Castle so I thought I would mention this one too. Detective shows are not usually my thing but because the character who plays Rick Castle is also the same character who played Malcolm Reynolds in Firefly (Nathan Fillion), I had to watch it. All the characters are wonderful and I love how the show can be both funny and serious depending on the situation. It is really the character interactions which make this TV series interesting since the murder cases follow much the same themes as any other detective TV show.

Once Upon a Time, ABC, 2nd Season
Once Upon a Time
 is my all-time favorite prime time show this year. Although the characters are all the same character’s from Grimm’s fairy tales and Disney movies, the story is very original. Even when they do a flashback to the original fairy tale, it is different. Snow White was an outlaw, the giant in Jack and the Beanstalk was actually a good guy, and the evil character Rumplestiltskin has a few redeeming qualities. In fact, I would say that Rumplestiltskin is my favorite character in the series. He is such a complex character that contradicts himself by doing both good and bad, but those contradictions do not make his character any less believable. Prince Charming’s character is a bit wishy-washy but he doesn’t ruin the show. And I don’t care much for the character Mulan either.

Elementary, CBS, 1st Season
This is another one that doesn’t really fit into sci-fi or fantasy. But I mention it because I want to compare it to a far more brilliant Sherlock Holmes show called Sherlock. Sherlock is a British television show that is much more dynamic and the characters far more interesting. This detective show is nothing like any detective show you have ever seen. So even if you don’t like detective shows, I highly recommend Sherlock, which is currently showing on Netflix, and forget about Elementary. Unless the plot of Elementary gets more involved, it will not last long. I wonder if they will introduce Moriarty soon. That might spice things up a bit.

To read about more about what the TV shows are about, find more information on Wiki.