Blog to Book Project — Twitter for Authors

Twitter is another great place to advertise. When you sign up for Twitter you get to choose your user name. You can choose your own name, a pen name or something really cool.  If the name you want to use is taken, which happens a lot, come up with something else. 

Fill out the profile information completely. Make sure to include a link to your author website. Add your profile picture. I use my page icon instead of my author picture, but that’s just me. If you are having difficulty deciding what to include on your profile, look at other authors in your genre and see what they have done. 

Take some time every week or so to find other writers, book reviewers, and interesting people to follow. Try to find people that are prominent in your particulate niche. 

Tweet a variety of images, posts, links, book reviews, author interviews, news articles along with a few self-promotional bits. When your stuff gets retweets or comments, publically thank them. It’s good form. 

Use hashtags generously.  #bookreview #author #freebookpromo #freekindle 

The lists option is a nice way to organize the people you follow. They get a notification that you put them on a list and are often flattered enough to follow you back. 

Twitter is a rapid-fire social media site. Tweet copiously!

Assignment: Set up your Twitter account and begin tweeting!

Learn to Love: Guide to Healing Your Disappointing Love Life by Thomas Jordan, Ph.D.

It was obvious that Learn to Love: Guide to Healing Your Disappointing Love Life was written by a researcher. The book begins by explaining what book will cover. Then the book discusses those points, one by one. Finally, the conclusion recaps the information, exactly as if it were a research paper. 

While I personally felt that the section on what will be covered in the book was unnecessary, the rest of the book was well-presented. Appropriate citations were included throughout the book to reinforce the main points. The author also used his own love story to make the message personal. When I finished the book, I felt like I had attended a “love relationship class”, which I believe was the author’s intent all along.

So what did Dr. Jordan have to say about love relationships? In a nutshell, our relationship choices are often based on the types of relationships we had in our family of origin. It’s likely that a person who was abused as a child, will find a way to become an abuser or take on the role of victim in his or her romantic relationships.

This recreation of past hurts isn’t really a new concept. However, Dr. Jordan takes the idea a step further and proposes that once we realize this, we can change it. The types of unhealthy relationships are discussed as are their healthy counterparts. There are questions to help you determine what types of interactions you are repeating so that you can work towards finding healthy and whole love relationships. 

The material is simply and clearly presented in terms that everyone can understand. In conclusion, I feel that Learn to Love: Guide to Healing Your Disappointing Love Life by Thomas Jordan, Ph.D. is a book that should be read by those in a relationship, those looking for a relationship, and those who have ended a relationship.

I received an advance review copy from Reedsy Discovery. You can read my review here.

Blog to Book Project — Proof Copies

Proof copies are great to send Beta readers, proofreaders, copy editors or to do a final check yourself. A proof copy is what your book would look like before it gets the final quality review at Amazon. 

You can only order proof copies when your book is in the draft category. You will get the opportunity to order proofs when you reach the Paperback Rights & Pricing tab in the uploading process. Click on the link in the box above the yellow Publish Your Paperback Book button that says “Request Printed Proofs of this book that you can order from the Amazon cart.” 

Clicking on that link will take you to a page where you can place your order. You can order up to five copies at a time. You can ship to multiple addresses by placing separate orders.

After you order your proof, you can publish your book immediately or wait until you’ve had a chance to look over your book. Remember, if you do find errors, you can upload a new manuscript with corrections. 

You will receive an email from Amazon KDP with a link to complete the order for your proofs. You must complete the transaction within 24 hours of receiving the email, otherwise you’ll have to make the request again. 

Proofs are a little different from regular copies of the book. Across the cover there is a “Not for Resale” watermark and no ISBN although there is a bar code. Other than that, the text and image formatting is the same, so if there is something that you want to change after seeing your book in print, do it.

Assignment: Order your proof copy.

Authors’ Revolution Workbook by B. Alan Bourgeois

Unbelievably, I did it again. I choose a workbook to review without having read the main book that the workbook as a companion for. This time I chose Authors’ Revolution Workbook by B. Alan Bourgeois and had high hopes. After all, I am a self-published author myself and am always on the lookout for tips. 

My reaction towards this book was mixed. There were excellent bits of information for authors that help them look at the publishing dream reaslitistically. The graphics were also very useful as visual representations of that reality. The Cost of Publishing Worksheets were worthwhile additions. Using them, an author could compare his or her costs to the average amounts spent by authors in the creation, publishing and marketing areas. Becoming a successful published author isn’t an overnight event as the uninitiated might believe. 

The companies and organizations that were listed under different headings were also practical resources. Each company or feature was classified by average price and services offered. There were listings for places to have your book reviewed, marketing and publishing companies, and useful social media tools. There was even a section on companies to avoid. 

You may ask, with all these beneficial guides included, why have I not given this a five-star rating? That’s a fair question. Yes, the workbook contained great resources for authors. However, I didn’t feel that it was enough for the workbook to stand on its own. In fact, the workbook would have done better to be included as an appendix in the main book. 

There was also inconsistent capitalization throughout the text, as if headings had been copied and pasted from another source. Then there were an overwhelming number of blank pages. There were no exercises to complete or self-reflective questions to respond to as might be expected in a workbook with lots of space to respond. In fact, the only work in this workbook were the The Cost of Publishing Worksheets and a question about your book’s launch date.

Finally, there was a second author bio included at the end of the book. The first bio was shorter and placed at the beginning of the workbook so readers had a general idea who the author was and why he was qualified to bring us this workbook. However, a second author bio which said pretty much the same thing was really unnecessary. 

So even though I found much of the information in Authors’ Revolution Workbook by B. Alan Bourgeois useful, I find myself unable to justify its existence apart from the main book, which I have not read.  

I received an advance review copy from Reedsy Discovery. You can read my review here.

A to Z Challenge Theme Reveal 2020

This year for the A to Z Challenge, Content Creative will continue to share information about how to set up and self-publish your book on Amazon. The process doesn’t have to be shrouded in confusion, as many book publishing companies make it seem. However, you, as the author and publisher, are responsible for creating the best literary work possible and it can be tricky.

Images, book covers, formatting, editing, book order, uploading to Amazon, and marketing are key components to creating an incredible book that you can be proud of. Look for these topics and more in the month of April as part of the 2020 A to Z Challenge.

Blog to Book Project — Author Copies

Author copies are copies of a book that are given to the author at the time of publication by the publisher. If you aren’t going the traditional route, you can still get author copies of your blog to book project and you should!

With Amazon Kindle Direct, for example, you can order up to 999 copies of your book for only the cost of printing, which depending on your final book price, can be a substantial saving.

Author copies make great marketing tools. You can donate them to your local library. You can sign them and make them prizes in raffles or giveaways. You can send them to family and friends. You can give them to all those people you thanked in your acknowledgment section. Send them to people who want to review your book. You can sell them yourself, but you won’t get royalty payments on them.

Plus, a shelf of your own blog to book projects in print form makes a heart glad!

To order Author copies, go to your KDP Bookshelf and choose the book you want to get copies of. Next, enter the number of copies you would like and pick the marketplace through which you’d like to order the books. To save on shipping costs, choose the Amazon branch closest to your shipping address. 

Assignment: Order some Author copies.

Live Your Gift by Dana V. Adams

Having read and enjoyed the companion guide to Live Your Gift by Dana V. Adams already, I was excited to read the main book. Although a good read, I didn’t find it quite as useful as the workbook, which was a little disappointing but not overwhelmingly so. 

Let me start with the Foreword. While I think that having the Foreword written by Bill Cohen who was the author of the little yellow book called Life Mapping that changed Dana V. Adams’ Life, was a great addition, it was amazingly dated 2081. Perhaps a little time travel occurred? 

The introduction to Live Your Gift by Dana V. Adams, mother of four, covers everything from personal fulfillment to global reckoning, a momentous challenge for just an ordinary person. From the onset, I was interested in learning how Ms. Adams was going to make the connection between self-development and world-shaking betterment in her book. That seemed to be a big stretch to me. I never did feel that the connection was made, though. 

I would have liked a little more focus on the concept of life mapping in the introduction or maybe in the first chapter, what it entailed and what it can provide. I felt like I was jumping from concept to concept without seeing the whole picture. To be fair, life mapping was thoroughly explained in section two of the book. By then I was committed to reading the entire book, whether or not I was fully following the steps.

I also thought the book relied heavily on the stories of celebrities and famous people. I found more inspiration in the chapters that the author shared her own story and that of her oldest son. Some of the biographies didn’t really illustrate the concepts covered in the chapter or tie directly in to the self-reflection activities at the end of each section. Others did an excellent job of making the connection. For example, chapter four focused on values. The story of Walt Disney was a great way to illustrate what it means to live with values. The tie-in was very clear. 

I loved seeing Benjamin Franklin’s 13 virtues list used as an example of how to design your own principle list. The author’s own examples were also very helpful in completing the assignments for each section. Overall, the book convinced me, as if I needed convincing, that I too needed to make my life map, which I believe was the intention of the author. 

So if you are ready to take control of your life and “Live Your Gift” you’ll find inspiration galore in Live Your Gift by Dana V. Adams and a place to create your own life map in the companion guide. 

I received an advance review copy of this book from Reedsy Discovery. You can read my review here.

Blog to Book Project — Sample Chapters

The first 10% of your ebook can be downloaded by readers through the Send a free sample option available on your book’s detail page on Amazon. 

This option means you should think about what content you should include in your front matter to capitalize on this preview opportunity. 

Do you want to waste all the valuable space on acknowledgments or can you move the acknowledgements to the back matter?

Will the list of tables and graphs really grab the reader’s attention? 

Would including testimonials bolster your book and/or qualifications for writing it? 

Does your introduction do a bang-up job of convincing the reader to buy the book?

Have you checked and double-checked for errors?

Assignment: Decide how to format the front matter to capitalize on the Send a free sample option.

Playing Tourist in Mexico: A Collection of Adventures from Women Traveling in Mexico

Patty M. Vanegas, Susi Schuegraf, Lynne DeSantis, Karen Swanson, Jill Michelle Douglas, Emily Lee Garcia and I combined our adventures into an amazing travel book last year. It’s finally available on Amazon as a  Kindle book and a full-color paperback!

Have you ever wondered what Mexico is really like? In Playing Tourist in Mexico: A Collection of Adventures from Women Traveling in Mexico you can share in the travels of seven women to 45 different locations throughout Mexico.

Not only are places like Mexico City and the beaches of Baja California included, but also remote but equally delightful places like Dolores Hidalgo, Guanajuato the birthplace of independence, and Paracho de Verduzco, Michoacan, a mountain town dedicated to handcrafting guitars.

You’ll see a different beauty in Mexico through the eyes of these women as they galavant hither and yon experiencing the sights, tastes, and sounds of this amazing country.

If you’ve already read this fun travel book, then we’d love if you could leave a review on Amazon or Goodreads!