Category Archives for "Uncategorized"

Mar 06

Privacy Policy

By Swell Press | Uncategorized

SwellPress.com Privacy Policy for Channeled Angel Messages app and Angel Meditations app on the Google Play store

This privacy policy has been compiled to better serve those who are concerned with how their ‘Personally Identifiable Information’ (PII) is being used online. PII, as described in US privacy law and information security, is information that can be used on its own or with other information to identify, contact, or locate a single person, or to identify an individual in context. Please read our privacy policy carefully to get a clear understanding of how we collect, use, protect or otherwise handle your Personally Identifiable Information in accordance with our website.

What personal information do we collect from the people that visit our blog, website or app?
When ordering or registering on our site, as appropriate, you may be asked to enter your name, email address, mailing address, phone number or other details to help you with your experience.  Our apps may also request to access your camera, microphone, accounts, contacts, or phone to create a better in-app user experience.
When do we collect information?
We collect information from you when you or enter information on our site, upon installing the app from the app store or when you complete an in-app purchase or upgrade.

How do we use your information?

We may use the information we collect from you when you register, make a purchase, sign up for our newsletter, respond to a survey or marketing communication, surf the website, or use certain other site features in the following ways:

      To personalize your experience and to allow us to deliver the type of content and product offerings in which you are most interested.
      To allow us to better service you in responding to your customer service requests.
      To send periodic emails or in app notifications regarding your order or other products and services.
      To follow up with them after correspondence (live chat, email or phone inquiries)

How do we protect your information?
Our website is scanned on a regular basis for security holes and known vulnerabilities in order to make your visit to our site as safe as possible.

We use regular Malware Scanning.

Your personal information is contained behind secured networks and is only accessible by a limited number of persons who have special access rights to such systems, and are required to keep the information confidential. In addition, all sensitive/credit information you supply is encrypted via Secure Socket Layer (SSL) technology.
We implement a variety of security measures when a user enters, submits, or accesses their information to maintain the safety of your personal information.
All transactions are processed through a gateway provider and are not stored or processed on our servers.

Do we use ‘cookies’?
Yes. Cookies are small files that a site or its service provider transfers to your computer’s hard drive through your Web browser (if you allow) that enables the site’s or service provider’s systems to recognize your browser and capture and remember certain information. For instance, we use cookies to help us remember and process the items in your shopping cart. They are also used to help us understand your preferences based on previous or current site activity, which enables us to provide you with improved services. We also use cookies to help us compile aggregate data about site traffic and site interaction so that we can offer better site experiences and tools in the future.
We use cookies to:
      Help remember and process the items in the shopping cart.
      Understand and save user’s preferences for future visits.
      Keep track of advertisements.
      Compile aggregate data about site traffic and site interactions in order to offer better site experiences and tools in the future. We may also use trusted third-party services that track this information on our behalf.
You can choose to have your computer warn you each time a cookie is being sent, or you can choose to turn off all cookies. You do this through your browser settings. Since browser is a little different, look at your browser’s Help Menu to learn the correct way to modify your cookies.
If users disable cookies in their browser:
If you turn cookies off, Some of the features that make your site experience more efficient may not function properly.Some of the features that make your site experience more efficient and may not function properly.

Third-party disclosure
We do not sell, trade, or otherwise transfer to outside parties your Personally Identifiable Information unless we provide users with advance notice. This does not include website hosting partners and other parties who assist us in operating our website, conducting our business, or serving our users, so long as those parties agree to keep this information confidential. We may also release information when it’s release is appropriate to comply with the law, enforce our site policies, or protect ours or others’ rights, property or safety.

However, non-personally identifiable visitor information may be provided to other parties for marketing, advertising, or other uses.

Third-party links
Occasionally, at our discretion, we may include or offer third-party products or services on our website. These third-party sites have separate and independent privacy policies. We therefore have no responsibility or liability for the content and activities of these linked sites. Nonetheless, we seek to protect the integrity of our site and welcome any feedback about these sites.

Google
Google’s advertising requirements can be summed up by Google’s Advertising Principles. They are put in place to provide a positive experience for users. https://support.google.com/adwordspolicy/answer/1316548?hl=en

We have not enabled Google AdSense on our site but we may do so in the future.

California Online Privacy Protection Act
CalOPPA is the first state law in the nation to require commercial websites and online services to post a privacy policy. The law’s reach stretches well beyond California to require any person or company in the United States (and conceivably the world) that operates websites collecting Personally Identifiable Information from California consumers to post a conspicuous privacy policy on its website stating exactly the information being collected and those individuals or companies with whom it is being shared. – See more at: http://consumercal.org/california-online-privacy-protection-act-caloppa/#sthash.0FdRbT51.dpuf
According to CalOPPA, we agree to the following:
Users can visit our site anonymously.
Once this privacy policy is created, we will add a link to it on our home page or as a minimum, on the first significant page after entering our website.
Our Privacy Policy link includes the word ‘Privacy’ and can easily be found on the page specified above.
You will be notified of any Privacy Policy changes:
      Via Email
Can change your personal information:
      By emailing us
How does our site handle Do Not Track signals?
We honor Do Not Track signals and Do Not Track, plant cookies, or use advertising when a Do Not Track (DNT) browser mechanism is in place.
Does our site allow third-party behavioral tracking?
It’s also important to note that we do not allow third-party behavioral tracking

COPPA (Children Online Privacy Protection Act)
When it comes to the collection of personal information from children under the age of 13 years old, the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) puts parents in control. The Federal Trade Commission, United States’ consumer protection agency, enforces the COPPA Rule, which spells out what operators of websites and online services must do to protect children’s privacy and safety online.

We do not specifically market to children under the age of 13 years old.

Fair Information Practices
The Fair Information Practices Principles form the backbone of privacy law in the United States and the concepts they include have played a significant role in the development of data protection laws around the globe. Understanding the Fair Information Practice Principles and how they should be implemented is critical to comply with the various privacy laws that protect personal information.

In order to be in line with Fair Information Practices we will take the following responsive action, should a data breach occur:
We will notify you via email
      Other
Within 30 days
We will notify the users via in-site notification
      Other
Within 30 days
We also agree to the Individual Redress Principle which requires that individuals have the right to legally pursue enforceable rights against data collectors and processors who fail to adhere to the law. This principle requires not only that individuals have enforceable rights against data users, but also that individuals have recourse to courts or government agencies to investigate and/or prosecute non-compliance by data processors.

CAN SPAM Act
The CAN-SPAM Act is a law that sets the rules for commercial email, establishes requirements for commercial messages, gives recipients the right to have emails stopped from being sent to them, and spells out tough penalties for violations.

We collect your email address in order to:
      Send information, respond to inquiries, and/or other requests or questions
      Process orders and to send information and updates pertaining to orders.
      Send you additional information related to your product and/or service
      Market to our mailing list or continue to send emails to our clients after the original transaction has occurred.
To be in accordance with CANSPAM, we agree to the following:
      Not use false or misleading subjects or email addresses.
      Identify the message as an advertisement in some reasonable way.
      Include the physical address of our business or site headquarters.
      Monitor third-party email marketing services for compliance, if one is used.
      Honor opt-out/unsubscribe requests quickly.
      Allow users to unsubscribe by using the link at the bottom of each email.

If at any time you would like to unsubscribe from receiving future emails, you can email us at
      Follow the instructions at the bottom of each email.

and we will promptly remove you from ALL correspondence.

Contacting Us

 

If there are any questions regarding this privacy policy, you may contact us using the information below.

SwellPress.com
519 W. 22nd St
Sioux Falls, South Dakota 57105
USA
support @ swellpress.com
Last Edited on 2017-03-06
Dec 13

The Benefits of Self Publishing

By Swell Press | Uncategorized

A Brief History of Self-Publishing

Self-publishing has existed as long as the written word. Early writers held the duality of also being their own publishers. It wasn’t until the fifteenth century when Johannes Gutenberg invented the mechanical printing press that publishing companies came into vogue. Thus began a monopoly on book printing that would shape what is referred to as the book industry today.

In past times, self-publishing held a stigma that works produced in this manner are less. They are not true literary art because they have not been vetted by the likes of a professional editor. Some people today may feel this same way, even though the entire publishing industry is undergoing big changes.

In the new age of publishing, less and less authors are getting book advances from publishers, margins are low, publishers do little to no editing, and they do nothing to help most authors market their book. Self publishing is now easier than ever, so what is the benefit in a publisher versus self publishing? This is a question many independent as well as previously published authors are beginning to ask.

Traditional Publishing Vs. Self-Publishing

Regardless of the argument, the fact is that numerous famous authors self-published before they were known is significant. A few of these include:

John Grisham
Beatrix Potter
Tom Clancy

Self-publishing saw a revolution in 2012. Amanda Hocking sold more than 1.5 million of her books for Kindle in the paranormal romance genre making her a millionaire as a result. If you were an author considering self-publishing within a three-planet radius at that point, your decision became much easier. It was a no-brainer.

Types of Self-Publishing

If you’ve decided to self-publish, there are a lot of ways to go about it. We will be focusing on the benefits of Print-On-Demand in this article. However, there are essentially two types of self-publishing, and they go hand in hand:

Digital – This pertains specifically to ebooks in various formats including, but not limited to: Kindle, ePub, and PDF.

Print – More commonly known as print-on-demand, this results in a physical book.

Both types involve utilizing an online service where the author uploads a file of their manuscript. Depending upon the chosen service, the book may be checked automatically for errors,checked by a human, or a bit of both. Most self-publishing services also offer some sort of editing and book design services for a fee.

Once the file is approved by whatever process the service employs, it can be immediately published using either method. It is the most efficient way to obtain the title of “Published Author” with the least hassle which makes it a popular choice for aspiring writers worldwide.

The Downside to Self-Publishing

Really the only adverse effect of going the self-publishing route is the aforementioned stigma that the result will be mediocre. To counter this idea, there are thousands of online services from book designing and editing to marketing that are viable replacements for traditional publishing. Sure, you sacrifice the slim possibility of receiving an advance or contract to write more books, but in short, the benefits wildly outweigh any downside in making a choice to self-publish.

The Benefits of Self-Publishing to Print – Print-On-Demand

While digital self-publishing is crazy popular because of the instant gratification aspect of it all, it is quite simple to transition to a print-on-demand service and vice versa. Many of them are one and the same.

Let’s delve into this list of benefits and advantages:

Less hassle – You are able to circumvent the rejection letters. There is no need to hire an agent. You don’t have to print copies of your manuscript and send them to numerous publishing houses filled with jaded editors. Your book has already been approved for publishing by you!

No stock – There’s no large up-front investment for printing costs or the need to pay storage fees. The only stock you have to deal with are the copies you stock yourself for friends, family, and events.

Immediate availability – Once your book is approved by your chosen service, it is available for sale anywhere in the world. This certainly cannot be said of traditional publishers. There’s no other way to convert your manuscript into a book more quickly.

Updates are easier – If you need to make changes to your book, you can do this easily, quickly, and put it right back into distribution. Face it, not every book is evergreen. This is especially beneficial for non-fiction writers. Sometimes, facts are incorrect, new information becomes available, and this is a convenient way to stay relevant.

Environmentally friendly – Even if you’re not an advocate for the environment, print-on-demand is naturally a green practice. With no stock, there’s no waste.

Empowers the self-publisher – Print-on-demand allows those with a small budget to be even players in the industry. It’s possible to publish with no up-front costs at all.

Quality – The quality of print-on-demand gets better and better all the time. While all of the options for customization are not yet available, it is gaining ground on traditional publishing. If you are savvy with page design programs and formatting, it is possible to produce a fabulous-looking book. However, books coming right out of the presses without any customization really don’t look that bad.

Readers don’t care – Once your book is in the hands of readers, they don’t care who published it. You’re right, large publishers are well-known as with other products, but a reader is going to remember your name if they really like your book.

Better royalties – Traditional publishers offer royalties between 5 and 10%. Depending upon your avenues of distribution, you keep all profits after costs when you self-publish. These costs may include design, editing, and marketing, but the percentages are significantly higher.

Creative control – Sending your book through a traditional publisher may result in a change in your title, crazy edits, and little control over design and marketing. By self-publishing, you maintain control over the entire process.

Business control – Namely over the rights of your book…you retain all of the rights to your work forever. There is no waiting period or fight over digital rights. You also won’t have issues if your book goes huge and hits the movies. Writing is a business, and if you are self-publishing, it is YOUR business. Period.

Longer shelf life – With traditional publishing, if your book doesn’t sell after the initial marketing, they stop promoting it. With self-publishing, your book stays for sale as long as you wish. You control the marketing, so if one system doesn’t work, there are hundreds more to try.
Speaking of marketing – Since you control the marketing of your book, you can focus on tight niches. You can market as widely as you want. There are no limits, and you are able to market worldwide with the help of the Internet. You can make appearances at events as well for signings and sales. The only limits here are the ones you place upon yourself.

The Choice is Yours

The stigma surrounding self-publishing and print-on-demand is diminishing. With the popularity of e-readers, and the ability to purchase right from nearly any device, the sale is so simple. If you take your time, produce a good book, and write a fantastic sales page, your book will almost sell itself. Learn some simple marketing or hire the pro’s. Becoming a full-time author is easier than it has ever been.

Dec 13

Social Media Marketing For Authors

By Swell Press | Uncategorized

What is Social Media Anyway?social media for authors

Social Media. It’s a huge buzzword, but does anyone really know what it means? The “social” part is easy enough to understand, but where does the “media” come in? Is this a reference to THE Media, or does it refer to media as in images, video, audio and text?

It’s the latter, and the term simply refers to the many websites and applications that fit under this umbrella. You know them well:

Facebook
Twitter
Pinterest
Google+
LinkedIn
Instagram
YouTube
Your Blog – Yes, your blog is considered Social Media because of the potential for discussion provided by the commenting system

The list goes on. There are hundreds of Social Media sites out there, but that doesn’t mean you need to be on ALL of them.

A Disclaimer

There’s a set of expectations that come with Social Media especially for those who fit under the label of “Author”. The general idea is that if you get on Social Media, you’ll increase your fame, or at least get sort of famous and sell more books.

Unfortunately, this isn’t the case. Social Media isn’t some type of magic spell to increase your reach. Having a website is much more important. What Social Media is actually good for is acting as a funnel to your website where you build your list.

People on Social Media are there to have fun and unwind, not to buy things. Think about it. Do you hit Facebook to shop? When was the last time you searched Twitter for “buy books”? Exactly, so don’t expect others to.

Should You Even Bother?

Absolutely! Being active in Social Media is a proven method of marketing. That’s why it’s so huge. However, it requires time, effort, creativity, and the ability to think outside the box. As an author, this shouldn’t be a problem for you, right? Right!

Read on, and start your expert Social Media Marketing campaigns today! Social Media is made to be user-friendly, so don’t make it more difficult than it has to be. This is only a part of your platform, and it’s not even the most important part. Remember in our article about building your platform [link article], it’s only 10% of the pie, so don’t think of it as 90% of your potential to sell books.

Developing Your Strategy

The first thing you want to figure out is which networks you can most benefit from. A common misconception is that the more profiles you have, the more books you will sell. Just stop now. As an author, do you REALLY need an Instagram account? Not unless you’re composing picture books or have creative and relevant imagery to promote your books.

Start simple. Consider what networks you already have a presence on, if any. Facebook is usually a given, and you should definitely include it in your strategy. Odds are, you’ve already connected with your family and friends on Facebook, right? This is the foundation of your network. Your friends should know who you are, and what you do. This will give you a head start.

As an author, Twitter is going to be your second solid choice, and we’re going to concentrate on these two here. Why Twitter? Who better to illustrate the art of conveying a message in 140 characters than an author? Now grab a pen and a notepad because we’re diving in deeper.

Social Media Marketing Like a Pro

Facebook

Create a Fan Page. You can do this by logging into your Facebook Profile, then click Create a Page in the left sidebar.

Name it after your brand whether that’s your name, a pen name, or something else. Follow the prompts from Facebook to set it up.

You need a profile and cover image just like with your personal Facebook. You can have this created professionally, hire a cheap service from a place like Fiverr.com, or you can make it yourself.

Tool Highlight: If you like to play around with images, try Canva.com. It’s a fantastic free tool where you can create a variety of graphics such as: Facebook Covers, blog graphics, Social Media posts, Twitter headers, and much more!

Don’t use your personal Facebook Profile as this is limited in the number of people you can connect with long term (It’s maxed out at 5000). Create a Page and invite your friends and followers from Facebook to “Like” your new Page. This way, you have made it a sort of opt-in rather than having a captive audience. The people who “like” your new Page are genuinely interested in what you are doing.

Your Page should at least include the following:
The correct category
A link to your website
An email address for your readers
An optimized About section
A profile picture and cover

Your mindset when sharing content on Facebook should be intimate commentary with illustrations! Share helpful and engaging information with your thoughts on the topic. Include an image that sums it up and invites the user to click to know more.

Twitter

Create a profile if you don’t already have one. There’s no need to create an extra profile unless you just want to or your username is something less than professional. Ahem.

Stop procrastinating, just go to http://twitter.com and do it. It’s common that if you’re not already on Twitter, you may not “get it”. Think of it like this: Twitter is a micro-blogging platform. It’s like writing a tiny blog post and conveying your message in 140 characters or less…preferably less, so you have room for Retweets!

Your Twitter profile should include the following:
A profile picture and header image
A link to your website
A brief, but informative bio

Your mindset when sharing content on Twitter should be short, sweet, and shareable. Share quotes, links, questions, helpful tips, and retweet others!

What Good Social Media Posts Are Made Of

Every post you share should consist of the following:

A blurb composed by you
A large, related image
A link to something
Hashtags

The Blurb – This should be made up of your thoughts on whatever you are sharing. You can also ask a question here to implore a response from your audience. Don’t get long-winded. Think simple, concise and engaging.

The Image – If you’re not that savvy with images, this could get tricky. Use the tool mentioned above in the section on Facebook: Canva.com. You can create images from scratch or use their templates for an easy drag-and-drop project. You can also use the image from the article you are sharing.

Tip: When posting, don’t let Facebook, Twitter, etc. generate the image for you. This looks crappy, and is less engaging. Download the image from the article and then upload it.

Don’t use images that are less than 600×350 pixels. If the image in your article is not suitable. Find one which is Don’t be lazy!

Don’t use copyrighted images! This is stealing and could get you in a load of trouble. Use Google search filters to find images that are labeled for reuse or use the Creative Commons section of Flickr.

The Link: You don’t always need a link if you’re just sharing an image or a comment, but if you are sharing content from your blog, your latest book, or something helpful from the web, link it.

Tip: Don’t use short URLs on Facebook. Full URLs get clicked more often. However, on Twitter you’ll find this essential due to the character limit.

Bit.ly is a great shortener and you can track your clicks! Goo.gl is another.

Hashtags: Learn what they are and how to use them! This will increase the interaction you receive from potential followers.

Actively Posting to Your Profiles

Make yourself a schedule and stick to it. The key here is consistency. Don’t be afraid to have a little variety. Every post shouldn’t look the same or be the same. Share different types of content: videos, slideshows, quizzes, memes, etc.

Tips for Facebook:

Photos get an 87% interaction rate. No other post type gets above 4%.
Share content using this ratio: 80% content from others to 20% of your own content i.e. blog posts, book releases, etc.
Keep your blurb around 40 characters for optimum engagement
Engage fans with questions, “caption this” photos; be creative!
Don’t post more than twice a day

Tips for Twitter:

Keep your tweets between 70 and 100 characters
Post often…up to 14 times per day
Include a picture or video
Post 5 tweets promoting others for every 1 you post about your book, blog, etc.
Make a Twitter list of your influencers and retweet from it a couple times a day
Use Klout.com to find out who your influencers are
Follow back
Thank your followers and retweeters with a mention. Make sure you include their @username

What To Do Once Your Profiles are Active

Once you have implemented your strategy and posted 5-10 times, you can check off the Social Media portion of your platform, but don’t check out. Stay active and consistent. If your followers engage you, respond! Social Media is a great way to connect with your fanbase.

It’s time to let them know you’re out there! Put links to your profiles on your website/blog. Include links in your email signature as well. In fact, put these links everywhere you deem appropriate:

Forum signatures

Cross-link between networks – Tweet your Facebook Page and Facebook your Twitter profile
Put them in your books – Add a “Find me on the Web” page in your books and put your links there

Marketing for the Long Haul

In addition to keeping your profiles active and using them to engage your audience, there are some additional things you might want to consider in the not-too-distant future. If you are paying someone to manage your Social Media for you, you will want to measure your successes. Also, you might want to consider using advertising on Social Media to boost your following or maybe even your sales.

Then, there are the hundreds of other Social Media sites out there. You might want to expand your platform. These are all things to consider if you are disenchanted with the results you get initially from your Social Media campaigns. Social Media is an ever-changing thing, and you’ll need to stay abreast of those changes to stay relevant.

Yes, it does sound like a lot, and honestly, it is a huge endeavor. You are the only one who can make it worth it. If you put these tips into practice, you will see a return on your investment by building up your author platform.

Dec 10

What is an Author Platform?

By Swell Press | Uncategorized

author platformAs an author, your platform is essential to your success. When it comes to traditional publishers, they don’t care about how good your book is, they care about how many books you can sell which is entirely dependent on your platform! As an interdependent author your platform is just as important.

What is an Author Platform?

A platform is sort of like a home base for everything pertaining to you as an author. Your platform is the base from which you launch your books and marketing plan. It may sound small when defined simply, but your platform will be a large part of bookselling and the volume of books you are able to sell.

What’s in a Platform?

We’re only going to cover the bare minimum here, but your platform can be as large or as small as you choose. Obviously, the larger your platform, the more time you will need to invest.

The basic elements of your platform should include:

  • A website with blog
  • An email list of targeted readers and customers
  • A strong Social Media presence

You may already be overwhelmed. If you are starting from scratch, practicing some basic goal-setting will help you immensely. Take it slow and take it one thing at a time. You are building for quality here, not quantity. That will come later.

Building Your Platform From Scratch

Define your audience and message – Who are you trying to reach and what do you want to tell them? Establishing your message as a writer is a process. It’s akin to the atmosphere you create when your friends come to your home. Create that atmosphere in a virtual setting using words. Every part of your platform should play a part in conveying your message.

Establish your brand – No, you’re not Pepsi trying to make people drink you, but you are a writer who wants people to read you. Your brand is established in how you communicate with your readership. As an author, your brand might pertain to your genre or it may just be your name. Regardless, create it and hang it on everything you do.

Launch your website – Unless you already have knowledge of WordPress, you’ll need to engage your learning curve here. It will be to your advantage to learn WordPress now. It’s really the only choice for your website/blog and a solid platform to launch your…well, platform. Put your research skills to work and you’ll find that your every step of this process is thoroughly documented online.

Write – It would seem to go without saying, but this one really can’t be emphasized enough. Creating your platform will entail a lot of writing. It would be to your benefit to create a loose schedule to work by because of the sheer amount of writing you need to pull this off:

  • Blogging
  • Books
  • Bios
  • Sales Pages
  • FAQ
  • Follow-up Emails

Oh my! If you weren’t overwhelmed before, you probably are now. Remember, slow and steady gets the job done.

Network – You’ve got a headstart on this one. How so? You have family and friends, don’t you? Instant network. Still, you will need to expand this exponentially as a part of your platform. There are a lot of ways to go about this but a good start is inviting your existing network to your burgeoning platform. Invite them to your website. Connect with them online. Ask them to share you with their friends. Take it further by actively networking online by commenting on other blogs, forums, and engaging in conversations.

Engage your audience on Social Media – You knew it was coming. Sending social signals throughout your network through the likes of Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube. Using these sites allows you to interact personally with your community which is essential to the growth of your platform. You don’t have to master every social media outlet, but It would be well worth your while to learn how to market to, and build, your audience with at least one or two of these valuable tools.

Stay Focused – Don’t lose sight of your message or your goals. Don’t get distracted from what you are trying to accomplish. Expect setbacks from time to time and work through them. Everything that you do is another brick in the foundation of what you’ve set out to do. Your platform is a creation that is never complete. Own it.

Fiction Vs. Non-Fiction

If you are a fiction writer, you may feel that having a platform is less important. After all, you need a message, but what might that be if you create an alternate reality on a daily basis? Every writer has a message. Every writer needs a platform. Come on, play along like you believe it.

View your platform as a pie equal to 100%. You should have the following elements in these percent amounts to complete your platform:

25% Expertise
15% Execution
10% Network
10% Social Media
10% Previous Writing (articles, blogs, papers, etc.)
10% Published Books
10% Readership
10% Personality

You may feel that say, your expertise, doesn’t apply in the fiction piece you are writing. You would be wrong. Every author writes from their own experience and, yes, expertise.

Developing Your Marketing Plan

A marketing plan!?! Yes. As an author, it’s up to you to effectively get your book in front of your intended audience. Your job requires many hats and sometimes more than one. You want to start marketing your book before you publish it, and possibly before you’ve even written the first word. It sounds hectic, but connecting with people through marketing while committing the often solitary act of authoring can be a great thing.

Share new book ideas with your audience through your blog and social media profiles. Share the journey with them as your write. Engage them in the process by asking them to contribute. For example, you might consider running a social media campaign to name one of your characters. Little things like this make your audience a part of what you are doing and will pay off at publishing time.

Don’t be frugal when it comes to the cover and editing. Invest in your work. Yes, you can do the entire project yourself, but it’s not recommended. Consider hiring professionals for your cover and editing. When you create the sales page for your book on Amazon, follow these simple guidelines:

List it in the right category
Include a hook and quotes from reviews in your description
Price it realistically – most ebooks cost under $9.99

Do not stop writing. As soon as you publish, get to work on the next one. Most independent authors making a good living full-time have a minimum of five books under their belt.

Build an email list. You can go about this a few ways:

1. Create a short ebook you can give away free in exchange for an email address
2. Offer a valuable piece of content enticing readers to subscribe then follow up with more value, engaging content, and offers over time.
3. Both of the above

The money is not in your book, it’s in your list of contacts! When you have an email list built, and you publish a new book, you can notify your list to go and buy it which will help you to climb towards the best-seller ranking.

Get reviews. Ask your audience to give you an honest review via Amazon, your website, or on social media. Do not buy fake reviews EVER.

Use the promo tools available through Amazon. Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing has a program called KDP Select where you can list your book for up to 5 days free in the Kindle Store. This can kickstart your reviews, you can also set up a Kindle Countdown deal to offer your book on SALE to increase sales, generate more reviews, and climb in the rankings.

Things to Consider

Keep in mind that creating your platform is a process. If you glazed over at “website and blog”, thinking “Do I really have to do all this just be a published author?” Don’t lose heart. Slow and steady gets the job done.

Sometimes it feels as if the movie premiered last year, and you’re just now seeing it for the first time. This will lessen the more you work on your platform. Remember the three basic elements we discussed at the beginning? Focus your attention there, and don’t stop until you are strong in all three. Then you can expand as you go. Remember that you bring something unique to the table. The desire to write is in you for a purpose and with words comes great responsibility. Happy authoring!

Oct 27

Benefits of Kindle Publishing for New Authors

By Swell Press | Uncategorized

kindle publishingThe Power of Kindle Publishing!

The cost of self publishing has traditionally been a huge barrier of entry for talented writers without a publishing deal. But, with the advent of eReaders like Kindle, and the fact that now every tablet and smartphone can be used as a Kindle reader with a free app, the world of publishing has forever changed.

Today, whether you are interested in publishing a trade-based ‘how to’ book, a non-fiction account, or if you are seeking to finally publish a fiction novel that you’ve been working on for years, Kindle may be the fastest and most inexpensive way to self publish and quickly reach millions of readers.

Not only is the Kindle publishing process fast, easy and relatively inexpensive, getting your book listed on Amazon offers you the ability to offer your book for sale on the 4th most visited website in the US and the 8th most visited website in the world. (Statistics are based on the alexa.com ranking of amazon.com)

Here is an overview of some of the main benefits in publishing your book on Kindle.

  1. Low start-up cost

The first obstacle for a new author when self-publishing a book in the past was the fact that you had to print thousands of copies after paying for all of your design, editing, and fomatting work.

Today, with Amazon’s Kindle Publishing system creating an account is completely freeand you receive numerous tools to help you with your marketing efforts.

To publish a book with Kindle your only costs are design and layout services which generally cost less than $2,500 often less than $1000.

  1. Up to 70% royalty

Through the Kindle publishing system, you can sell your eBooks on Amazon’s websites around the world, and you can earn up to 70% per sale! There are some basic requirements to achieve the 70% payouts, such as a minimum price of $2.99. You can price your book less than $2.99 to get more exposure, in which case you would earn 35% royalties.

Amazon does however offer you additional programs to gain exposure and find new readers. You can enroll in their ‘Kindle Unlimited Program’ in which their members can downlaod your book for free, and you still get paid as if it was a normal sale. You can also set up ‘Kindle Countdown Deals’ where you get to mark your book down below the $2.99 minimum for a limited time, and still receive 70% on sales.

Compare these royalty figures with the old averages of 8% – 15% for nationally published authors, and you can see why Kindle is often a better option for authors when compared to ‘traditional’ old-school publishing.

  1. Massive potential audience

Partnering with Amazon and selling your book on Kindle not only aligns you with the largest online retailer in the world and one of the top 10 visited websites in the world (top 5 in the US), but your book will be available on the most popular eReader device in the world.

  1. Changes are a breeze

Traditionally book sellers, authors and publishers faced a major challenge when it came to changing the price of the book they were already selling. With Kindle, it takes less than a few clicks to update your price on Amazon (and then a couple of days for the change to be approved).

You also have the ability to add chapters, make changes to your manuscript, or update a cover image easily and effectively through Kindle’s digital publishing platform.

Although there are still many readers who love the feel of a paperback book, the trend has been moving in the direction of eBooks vs. print books for years now. On Amazon.com specifically, it was in 2012 when the total number of eBooks sold was greater than the total number of print books sold.

Now, years later and with more Kindle eReader ready devices in our world than ever before, Kindle publishing is the smart step for new authors and established authors looking to increase their royalties and reach.