Monday, March 2, 2015

A Word of Caution to New Authors





Please be advised that the indie side of the publishing industry is now rife with scammers looking to 'sell' you expertise they don't have. Unfortunately, in a gold rush, the people who make the most money are the ones selling the shovels and other supplies (aka insider secrets).

Before you give anyone your money, please do your due diligence. Otherwise you'll end up implementing bad advice as you start to market your books. There is truly a lot of snake oil slithering around right now, full of misinformation that will kill a book and your dreams along with it.

Some things to consider as you evaluate whether a particular workshop or ebook or seminar will be of value to you:

1. Has the person actually sold books?

2.Do they have more than 1 review on their books?

3. Have they hit a bestseller list? (While you can learn from people on their way up, they shouldn't be marketing 'how to be a bestseller secrets' to you.)

4. How is this 'expert' staying up-to-date? One big pitfall many people don't even realize they've fallen into is trusting the 'expert' who hasn't updated their material in two (or more!) years. It's hard to spot these folks because you can't know what you don't know, but you can poke around and find out if they're attending conferences or maybe linking current industry articles on their social media profile. (Better yet, search for those recent articles and read them yourself.)

5. Is this expert someone you've heard of or a complete stranger with a very persistent squeeze page complete with flashing, blinged out graphics? Strangers with pop-ups exhorting you to sign up and you'll get a free 10 page ebook or what-have-you are not credible. Go ahead, get the free ebook and read it. You'll find it's full of fluff with nothing actionable.

6.Be wary of the author who uses 'expert' status to feed their ego. They won't do you any good no matter how much money you throw at them.

As an example, here's what I might say on a topic:

This is how I handle ABC, but I know other authors prefer XYZ. In the past, LMNOP was effective, but over time, that has been affected by EFG factors.

Notice how I'm giving a broad overview of, not just my opinion, but what others think as well as history on the topic<---this is a sign of balanced viewpoint and I try to do it as much as possible.

The author with the hungry ego will refuse to engage questions that challenge their dearly held paradigm. There is only one true way. The answer is A and only A. When you see that kind of rigidity, you should run far, far away, or at least recognize you're getting a very narrow view of a topic tainted by the egomania of the instructor. You'll need to do more research. 

In my opinion, the most valuable mentors are the ones who can integrate industry history and other people's experiences in their teachings. There is no one true indie way and you might be the author who thrives on a strategy mix of BXM while another might need DLK. 

So, what is the best way to find current information on indie publishing? My advice is to ask authors what training and conferences they recommend.

In fact, this author says: Go to a con. Preferably one run by RWA as they've been quick to marshal their resources on behalf of indies. Their national conference is excellent, but if it's too expensive for you, local chapters usually have a yearly conference that is very affordable. There are all sorts of online workshops as well.

You can still run into a dud, but it will be cheaper than that $197 price tag on a scammer's squeeze page and you'll meet other writers which will expand your network.

You can find out more about the resources I recommend to new authors (including RWA) on my Advice for Writers page.

Oh, and what qualifies me to write a list like this? Bitter experience. I've been there, done that so, hopefully, you don't have to.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Hot Winter Reads- 99 cent SALE - 3 days only!



*Remember!*  Prices can change without notice. Verify prices before you buy!


The Alphas Mate by Michelle Fox Chloe Weiss’ dreams have finally come true: She's a null no more, her wolf has finally come. She's now a full member of her pack in the remote Appalachian ‘weretown’ of Hunstville, but she soon learns this just means more trouble at her door. GET IT FOR 99 CENTS AT: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iBooks

The Cowboy Genie's Wife (The Dirty Djinn Series) by Lyn Brittan A genie, his ranch and very ticked off ex-wife. GET IT FOR 99 CENTS AT: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo

His Wicked Games Boxed Set by Ember Casey Love is about to get very wicked... This bundle contains the first three books of the bestselling CUNNINGHAM FAMILY series. Warning: contains a billionaire who's too sexy for his own good and the steamiest game of Hide & Seek you've ever read... GET IT FOR 99 CENTS AT: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo

The Curvy Astronomer and the Cowboy by Victoria Wessex Cowboy Troy knows horses; not the Horsehead nebula. But he agrees to take Emily, an astronomer, out to a remote cabin where the skies are dark. When a blizzard traps them there, he finds he can't resist the curvy beauty. Can he help her overcome her insecurities and unlock her inner sex kitten with the help of a roaring fire and an old-fashioned copper bath? GET IT FOR 99 CENTS AT: Amazon

Crossed (prequel to the Crossed Series) by Lacey Silks She is looking for the one. He never thought the one existed. But the one thing that connects them can also tear them apart. GET IT FOR 99 CENTS AT: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo

The Doctor of London by Lyn Brittan Kennerick Clock, London’s most ornery private investigator, has just received a note from the spoiled Lady Javan, the woman who broke his heart. He’s willing to help, for the right price, but separating the case from his feelings is proving a little harder than he thought. GET IT FOR 99 CENTS AT: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo

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Accepting Fate by Deanna Chase Derek Alexander does his job for one reason and one reason only—to make up for that terrible night nine years ago. His demons haunt him, but so do dreams of Jax, the girl he knows he’s fated to be with. But in a world of magical soul mates, sometimes even love and forgiveness isn’t enough. GET IT FOR 99 CENTS AT:Amazon

The Tiger's Passion: Picking Up The Pieces by Jessica Ryan Morgan O'Connor's love life has been nothing but abuse and tragedy. That is until she moves in across the street from a sexy tiger shifter named Levi. But is this the kind of love she's ready for? GET IT FOR 99 CENTS AT: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo

Hot Shot (A Hostile Operations Team Novel) by Lynn Raye Harris Hostile Operations Team sniper Jack “Hawk” Hunter is cool, methodical, and utterly lethal. Nothing rattles Jack’s calm. But that was before he learned he fathered a child three years ago—a child who has just been kidnapped. GET IT FOR 99 CENTS AT: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo

Pursued by a Werewolf [Mystic Isle, Book 4] by Selena Blake Hunter Ciolek has a new plan and only a few short weeks to make Avery Cooper see things his way because living without her is not an option and this werewolf always gets what he wants. GET IT FOR 99 CENTS AT: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo


  Love and War - Part 1 (The Underworld Coven) by Kim Faulks In the land they call the Underworld, witches have fought the Corrupt for hundreds of years, but recently, something has tipped the balance of power in favor of evil. Only one coven remains to protect the human race, the Crux Coven, led by a grieving warrior-witch named Creed. When a human woman breaks his wards and enters his sanctuary, Creed’s prepared for battle, but not for the attraction he feels toward Helaine. GET IT FOR 99 CENTS AT: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo

Incidental Contact (Those Devilish De Marco Men) by Eden Connor Small town Romeo wants the good girl, but he's having performance issues GET IT FOR 99 CENTS AT: Amazon

Rain on Me by Eden Connor If every heart's a package someone else has tied in knots, how did bondage unravel mine? GET IT FOR 99 CENTS AT:Amazon

Fall Out (SEALs Undone #1) by Zoe York Drew Castle is a Navy SEAL with a bad case of indifference. Until Annie Martin shows up on his doorstep, scared out of her mind, and all of a sudden, keeping her safe becomes the most important mission of his life. And this time, he's on his own. GET IT FOR 99 CENTS AT: Amazon

Hate F*@k: part one by Ainsley Booth Cole: I push her buttons. I want to push them in the good way. Dirty, up-against-the-wall, my-hand-in-her-pants kind of way. But that’s not possible, because I’m dark and she’s light, and we both know it. So I push her buttons in the bad way, making her hate me. GET IT FOR 99 CENTS AT: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo

London: Allie's War Early Years by JC Andrijeski ~ A Revik and Allie prequel novel in the Allie's War Series ~ GET IT FOR 99 CENTS AT: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo