This is really a fantastic book. This we

This is really a fantastic book. This week only it is for sale for 99 Cents! Go to Amazon and download your copy now!

Categories: Uncategorized | Leave a comment Coming soon: Bla Coming soon: Black Gold – Time Tripping Adventures #1: And now for something completely different…introducing a …

Categories: Uncategorized | Leave a comment Passing on the Joy: Passing on the Joy: I am moderating a panel this fall at the at New England Crime Bake. It is entitled “High…

Categories: Uncategorized | Leave a comment Mist by Susan Krinard Mist by Susan Krinard: Norse gods in San Fransisco; awesome urban metaphysical fantasy.: Mist grabbed me and pulle…

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Why Self-Publish?

People ask me all the time–Why do you want to self-publish?

In a nut shell, I like making my own decisions about my work.  I like being able to say, “Sure, print that, share that, sell this, mix up that, I will be happy to give you that, or change this.” I don’t like someone telling me what I can do with my own stuff.  Maybe I am a control freak, but if you are going to tell me what to do, you better be my sweet husband or you better be ready to PAY for the rights to tell me how I can do something. Yep, I have a little more Southern in me than the average bear.

My book was “time specific” and I felt the market was reaching a peak with the “end of the world stuff.”  I didn’t have the time, nor the patience to wait two or three years for 50 or more people to reject me, just to find that one agent who thought I was worth something to them.  I just kept asking the question, “Who is paying who, here?”

It is like, I have a great family recipe for pie. I feel the need to make pies, but I don’t know how to sell the pies.  So I send out the recipe to several chefs and they all come back saying they hate my pie.  Then, one person says they like my pie (with some revisions) and they will make it and sell it for me (with strings attached of course, a big one being I don’t own the rights to my recipe). OH, and by the way they get 3/4 of my pie.

On the other hand a major box retailer has a million shelves, they take anyone’s pie,  and put it on a shelf.  You get to keep your recipe and they only take 1/8 of the pie…oh and you can sell your pie where you like…you can even make a pie movie or a pieTune if you like.  They don’t care, they just take your pie and put it on their big ole shelf. They let the pie EATER decide if they like the pie or not.  That, my friend, sounds simple enough.

Do I think I did the right thing? HECK, YES!  Do I think I have messed in my nest or made a bed I can never be comfortable in? HECK, NO!  The B-E-A-utiful part about this whole thing is that I can still sell my book to a publisher IF I ever want to sell it.  Nothing has changed in the least.  My question to all those people who ask me–Why did I self publish? My question to them is–Why not?

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Indie Authors should be all “A-Flitter” for Twitter! Part 3 of 3

You want a bunch of followers who buy and read books.  Our goal is to get 10,000 of those people following us. So how do we find those people? Easy.  In the little gray box (search box) in the upper right hand corner type in the words “kindle deals” and hit enter.  Twitter will automatically default to tweets that have the words “kindle deals” in the tweet.  Look to the left column of the screen and click on the second section that says “people.” When you do this it will list people on twitter to have “kindle deals” in their name or in their profile.  Click on the first person and then follow them.  Now, click on the section that shows how many people are following them.  When you do this it takes you to a list of everyone who is following them.  These are the people you want to follow, because they are interested in kindle deals for their kindles.  These are the people who read!  These are the people who buy books!  Follow these people until you cannot follow any more of them.

Now try something else more specific.  Let’s say you are writing a book for young adults about vampires (original right?).  So type in the search box “teen reader vampires” and do the same thing.  Click on one of the people and follow all their followers. Now, click on one of their follower profiles.  In this case I would choose the young girl who’s profile picture is modified to look like a vampire.  See all her followers?  Bingo!  There are 525 followers, all teens, who love reading and love vampires!  Now, that is target marketing at it’s best! Now, follow all her followers.

Will all these people follow you back? No, they will not.  But you don’t care—why? Because there are 2,599,345 other teen girls out there who love to read and love vampires.  Also, remember if only one girl out of this group follows you and Retweets one of your post and she has 3000 followers—you just reached 3000 girls in your target market! Oh, the power of social media! You gotta love it!

Reba Ponder Weiss is the Author of “this i know – Sarah’s Confession” and is currently working on a self-help book for Indie Authors.


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Indie Authors should be all “A-Flitter” for Twitter! Part 2 of 3

I feel, I must warn you that you should not use a personal Twitter Account for your business. I also suggest the people who are following you now may not be the audience you need to develop for marketing your book.

Allow me to clarify. The purpose of a marketing twitter page is to get your message to as many people as possible. In the Twitter World if a person does not follow you, when you tweet a message, they DO NOT GET IT. You will get all the messages THEY tweet, but they will receive NONE of yours. It doesn’t matter if you follow Brad Pitt and he has a million followers. If your dear friend, Brad, doesn’t follow you, he will never see your perfectly placed announcement telling him your book is going on sale (and neither will his followers). On the other hand, if a person follows you, when they see your interesting tweet they have the opportunity to click on your link and then maybe they will RETWEET it to their million followers. You also have the privilege to send them a DIRECT MESSAGE (basically a private email) and that gives you another opportunity to look at your information, Retweet it, and visit other links with your products.

The next logical question would be: Why shouldn’t I just follow as many people as I can and not worry about them following me back? Answer: Because Twitter LIMITS the amount of people you can follow in direct proportion to the amount of people who are following you.


Following You 1,800 + You Following Others 2,200 = okay

Following You 200 + You Following Others 2,000 = not okay.

So you have to keep it in alignment. They strictly police it. There are no exceptions. When you meet your maximum, they lock you out and you must either “unfollow” someone or wait until someone “follows” you.  Then you can follow a new person. Think of it like a bank account. Each “Follow” is a dollar. Don’t spend a dollar on someone who will not give you a dollar in return. Trust me, Brad Pitt is NOT going to follow you, so don’t waste your dollar. Pick someone who may follow you back—especially in the beginning. By the time you complete this book you will have at least 2,500 followers. Your ratio should look like this: 2500 Followers + 2500 Following = 2500 People Seeing EVERY Tweet you post!

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Indie Authors should be all “A-Flitter” for Twitter! Part 1 of 3

I must admit I was not a Twitter fan in the beginning. I had found a comfortable home in my personal life on Facebook.  I mastered sharing and friending, and everyone I knew or wanted to know was on Facebook. For me, Twitter was just another thing I had to keep checking and updating, so I pushed it aside for a little while. That was a bad choice. If you are marketing and promoting your own book you must use Twitter and become proficient in it. YOU MUST HAVE A TWITTER ACCOUNT TO MARKET YOUR BOOK!

Twitter is one of the fastest growing social networks in the world (Pinterest is #1, but we will talk about that later). Twitter subscribers are growing at about 40% per year. In laymen’s terms, that is four times the rate of Facebook’s growth. If you have 500 followers on Twitter and you post an announcement four times in one day, if only 5 people ReTweet you, you have the possibility of reaching 250,000 people! If only one half of one percent look at your Amazon page, then only one half of one percent actually consider your book (65), chances are great you will sell at least 3 or 4 books a day. 3 books a day times 365 days a year equal to an average of $3,000.00 per year just from that formula alone. If you have a 10000 followers (I am going to help you get there for sure) you can double that number. Then consider putting 2 or 3 books on Amazon and double your followers…well, you get the picture. Just from Twitter alone you could expect to make at least $20,000.00 per year AND Twitter is FREE! Now, stay with me here, calculate the numbers if you have 2 Twitter pages! Yes, you can have more than one twitter page and control them both. Twitter is a force to be reckoned and you must become a tweeter with a vengeance!

So, get along home little doggy and get that Twitter account going.  If you don’t know how or need a little help, keep following my blog!

Categories: Self-Publishing | Tags: , , , , , | 2 Comments

Can you be honest? Part 3 of 3

As a final note to all you indie authors, keep in mind, “This is YOUR story, not mine.” criticism should be an inspiration not a discouragement.  Think of it like this, someone telling you that they hate the main character, doesn’t mean you need cancel your story and start over.  It just means that you may need to modify the personal traits of the character.  If you LOVE everything about your main character, then you should keep them the way they are.  Just keep in mind, if a second reader tells you they hate your main character, you need to SERIOUSLY consider changing some things.  If you still hold firm that you LOVE your main character, then be warned, you are making a huge gamble.  Chances are there is a major problem with your main character (that you don’t want to accept).  In the end, it is YOUR main character and you have the power to change it, or not to change it.  Choose wisely.  Think of your beta readers as representing 1000 readers each.  If you have 5 readers and three of them say they hate your main character, that equates to 3000 people “hating your book.” That also means you have to find the (now) small market of readers who love your type of characters.

My mother always says, “You made your bed now lay in it.”

A special note here in closing.  You need to plan on at least three or four months for re-writing, corrections, and adding dialogue. Don’t set a release date until you are finished with at least the first edit round.

Good luck and good writing!


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Can you be honest? Part 2 of 3

When I got back my original manuscripts from my (beta) readers, two out of the three hated the ending. They said they felt cheated and almost angry. I was crushed! I loved my ending! Instead of taking it personally, I needed to take the overall idea that my ending needed something more.  It was a clear signal I needed to rework my ending. Please note: I still get critical feedback about my ending, so maybe I should have worked it more.  You don’t have to take every suggestion they make to heart, but you better think long and hard if two early readers agree on something. Five people read my book in the beginning and I am so thankful for their honesty, suggestions and corrections.

If you have a publisher, you won’t have this problem. They will do it for you. Be aware, their readers will be a lot tougher than any reader you could choose. You are going to have to develop a thick skin. Any publisher will tell you that.

So, at this point I have to talk to you a little about a thick skin. This book does not define you. Yes, it will be a reflection of your writing skills but this book is not the next great Moby Dick. Trust me; the chances that you have written the next Gone With the Wind, are slim—real slim. Let’s just say for a minute that you have written a masterpiece, even the greatest classics of all time have people who hate them. Think of all those high school students who read Romeo and Juliet and reported back, “this is the stupidest book I was ever forced to read!”, “hated it!” “Couldn’t understand what William Shakespeare was trying to say. Why can’t the guy just learn English?” Every writer has to develop a thick skin, so you need to start doing that right now. Guess what, you are going to get bad reviews, thumbs down, and searing comments. Yes…yes you will. I will tell you what to do about some of those bad comments later in this book (especially when they happen on Amazon or Good Reads), but for now, resign yourself to the fact you are not the next Hemingway.  Chances are, you are a mid-range author.  Don’t cringe–mid range authors make a good living at writing! Work within that range and if your book soars to the New York Times Best Seller List–then God Bless your little heart!  Until then, lets focus on writing, proofing and putting the best product we can out to the marketplace!

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