A book gift to keep readers warm

While we’re sweltering here in Australia, readers in the US and UK are reaching for their blankets and a good book. That’s why Australian author Melissa Pouliot is offering the Kindle edition of her #1 #besteller Write About Me for just 99c in the US and UK. Another reason the book has been discounted from $4.99 to just 99c is to celebrate it’s new cover!

Follow this link to download your copy

And please feel free to share with your friends. It’s a huge boost to authors when readers enjoy their book as much as they enjoy writing it!

WriteAboutMeFullCover-Sml

Advertisements

Do readers & writers want ‘real books’ or ‘ebooks’?

This is a big question for readers. And writers. Because writers are readers (or if they’re not, they should be!).

This time last week the first boxes of paperbacks of my second novel FIND ME arrived. What a moment. The book has been available as a Kindle for a little while now and when I hit the publish button there was a moment as well. But it was nothing like the moment when Deb in the post office opened the very first box to reveal stacks and stacks of books. And the response from my readers to the arrival of the paperback has far exceeded my expectations. And my supplies. Within two days I  had to place a new order.

So it got me thinking about the question we are asked every single day. What do readers want? Real books or ebooks?

I remember when a close friend received one of the very first iPads to arrive in Australia. To her it was a new gadget, a new toy and a MUST have. When I questioned her about why she MUST have this gadget it wasn’t because it was shiny and new, it was because she wanted to take it on her next holiday to Bali. With books on it. Goodbye heavy bag full of paperbacks. Hello shiny new toy with books on it.

And so it began. And so it continues.

I love laying in bed late at night with the iPad screen dimmed to the perfect light. You can read for so much longer this way for one simple reason – it takes no energy to turn the page. Just a tiny flick of your finger and there you have it – a clean new page full of words.

But as a reader, and a writer, the shiny new gadgets for reading ebooks that come onto the market every single day will never replace the lovely, beautiful, tactile sensation of holding a ‘real book’ in your hand. Running your hand over the cover – have they used gloss or matt finish? Is there any raised lettering? And then you open it. What kind of paper have they printed on? Is it cream? Is it white? You then have a flick. There are no words to describe the first flick of the pages. And once you have gone through all the motions, you sit in your most favourite reading place and so it begins.

And so it continues.

FindMeFrontCover-smaller

Write About Me moves bookshelves into mystery, thriller and crime

One of the best parts about publishing your book on Amazon is the incredible opportunities it provides for self-published authors. As Amazon aims to keep pace with the ever-changing book publishing world, authors and writers can stay on the front foot and be continually finding new opportunities to sell more books.

As a new self-published author I am learning every day and one thing I’ve discovered is the importance of which category or shelf your book is on in the biggest bookstore in the world.

After seeking advice from other authors and doing my own research, Write About Me has now changed shelves. These are its new categories which align more closely with the type of book it is.

I will keep you posted about what happens from here as I roll out my new virtual marketing strategy – stay tuned!

?????

3 top book publishing tips

TWM_Be originalHere are 3 top publishing tips from Melissa-Jane Pouliot, an Australian self-published/indie author whose debut novel “Write About Me” has reached #1 several times on Amazon and has become a high-profile platform for raising awareness around the world about missing persons – the theme of her novel, inspired by a true family tragedy.

1. Stick to your own writing style, even if you are told it is not strong enough for the current fiction market. 

I have a simple, straightforward style. Coming from a media writing background, I am trained to write in active voice and short sentences. In the media world you have to tell the story within the first three paragraphs. Flipping into fiction writing was a challenge when it came to being descriptive and filling in the blanks and you could finish my first draft in about two hours. But there is a balance between long and boring and too quick and slick – just stick to your own writing style and writing goals.

My writing goals are to minimise overwriting, be true to my characters and create a pace that keeps people’s attention and keeps them turning to the next page. Your style might not be considered as literary genius, and you do have a responsibility to your readers and yourself not to stray too far off writing that makes sense – but every writer has their own individual style that makes their writing “theirs”.

It is also important to edit your book, but it’s just as easy to over-edit your work. Be careful not to lose your characters and plot through over-editing. This is another fine balance that all writers are constantly aiming to achieve.

2. Maximise every single marketing opportunity that comes your way.

First of all you need a marketing/media plan – no easy feat when you’re trying to finish a novel! This starts well before your book comes out and can be overwhelming – even for someone like me who has a strategic marketing and media background! Notebooks are perfect for this. Scribble down ideas when they come, then don’t forget to reopen that notebook at least once a week to remind yourself of all your brilliant marketing ideas.

The marketing tools available for self-published authors are a mile long, and the options and opportunities match the number of stars in the sky. Facebook, twitter, wordpress, Instagram, Tumblr, SnapChat, traditional print media, online blogs, author groups, literary associations – honestly, where does it start and finish? So you need to stay focussed and select the tools that you believe will work best for you – and that you can afford.

Then you have to be prepared to drop everything else in your life when a marketing and media opportunity hits you in the face and make sure you get the absolute maximum exposure for your book. Because once that opportunity is gone, it’s gone. Old news is no news – new news is news. 

It’s important to remember you don’t have to do everything right that very second – map out a plan, be prepared for the unexpected, and do the very best you can as that’s all you can do.

3. Keep in close touch with other indie authors – and write down every little thing they say as you’ll never know when it will come in useful for your own self-publishing journey.

Once you start looking you will find so many self-published authors trying to make it big in one of the biggest ponds in the world. Where do you belong? Is your novel best listed in mystery? Or Crime? Or Literary Fiction? Who is your audience? How do you find them? It can be likened to trying to find the missing plane from Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 – and that is not being flippant in any way. Finding your own place on the giant bookshelf where your readers have no shortage of options is one of life’s biggest challenges and for many, biggest mysteries.

So you need to seek out other indie authors and share share share – we are all in the same boat and none of us want to be left at sea.

Why BookBub works for authors and readers

BOOKBUB SAYS…“We only feature books that are bestsellers or written by a bestselling author, were published by a top-tier publisher, or have received strong reviews from critics and readers.” BookBub website home page

It’s been an exciting weekend in The Word Mint thanks to BookBub. And as a result “Write About Me” is now a #1 Bestseller as well as an Amazon Hot Seller, Hot New Release, Top Rated and Gift Idea! Sales have also jumped by a whopping 600% in the days after the promotion finished. Happy Dance!

No1BestSellerHotNewTopRated-Nov182013

After the promotion finished, Write About Me is holding steady at #1 in several categories.

How did I get onto BookBub?

My Amazon publishing mentor and a group of international authors she introduced me to put me onto BookBub to promote “Write About Me” with the global reading market as my target.

What happened next?

I submitted Write About Me via an online form and waited with anticipation to be accepted. As their website states very clearly above – they only feature top quality content and I wasn’t sure my self-published debut fiction novel that was only about 4 months old would pass.

Accepted!

Yay! After BookBub accepted my book, all I had to do was pay $110, schedule my book to be free for the duration of the promotion and let BookBub do the rest.

Results of previous paid campaigns?

I had just trialled a paid Facebook campaign for Halloween, targetting Vancouver and London and setting my age group from 16-64. It cost me almost $100. Although Facebook tells me more than 20,000 people viewed my post the results were appalling. There were minimal downloads of my Kindle version on Amazon while the book was free and there were no follow up sales. I received only about 10 post likes and no new page likes for The World Mint.

Would BookBub deliver?

I was losing confidence in attracting a global audience despite getting great reviews and feedback on my book from everyone who was reading it. Was BookBub any different?

BookBub explosion

Just a few hours after BookBub posted the image below on their Facebook page, more than 9000 people had downloaded it. For the next 12 hours this tally rose and rose, as did my rankings.By the end of the promotion more than 26,500 people were reading Write About Me.

BookBub Facebook Post

BookBub Facebook Post

Rankings during promotion

During the promotion the book reached #4 in the entire Kindle store. It was #3 in Mystery, #4 in Literary Fiction, #1 in Drama – it seemed that everywhere you looked on Amazon, there was the amazing cover that my brother from fashion label LP33.3 designed for Write About Me.

Below is a Screen Grab Brag Gallery.