4 Things to Remember When You Attend a Writing Conference

What can a writing community do for you?

There are so many writing conferences, yet so little time. How can you ensure your experience at each conference is a success? Don’t worry. Here are four tips on how to get the most out of attending these kinds of events.

1.)  Set goals. Before deciding which events to attend, you need to create a list of goals you have for a writing conference. This can be as simple as listing out items like “have fun” and “learn more about mystery writing.” With so many activities going on at conferences, it’s easy to get wrapped up in the excitement and forget your purpose. A list of your goals will help you stay on track. Continue reading

5 Tips on How to Get Featured in the Booktango Bookstore

5 Tips on How to Get Featured in the Booktango Bookstore

I just provided our content team with a list of the April updates for the Booktango bookstore homepage.  Believe it or not, there is not a systematic program that runs to feed this page. Each month I sit down and carefully review our titles to decide which books to feature.

The bookstore has several carousels of books on the homepage including the top ‘featured’ carousel, Books We Love, Noteworthy Titles and the coveted Booktango Feature Title. I thought I’d share a little bit about my process of choosing which books to feature, and give you five tips to help your book get picked in upcoming months!

1.) Make sure your keywords are updated.  The very first step in my process is to look for books that are relevant to events of the month or related to the season. For the April featured books I searched for the following keywords: April, Spring, Flower, Gardening, Vacation, Bloom, Autism, Earth, Health, Poetry, Baseball, and Mathematics (and a few more).  All of those words have some relevance to April or events going on around this time making them relevant books to feature for the month. Continue reading

Fact vs. Fiction: Booktango Reviews, Complaints and Scams

Fact vs. Fiction: Booktango Reviews, Complaints and Scams“If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.” I can’t tell you how many times my mother uttered those words growing up, and most of the time she was right. We often get some skeptics who check out Booktango and ask the questions: “If it’s free, 100% royalties, and non-exclusive rights, what’s the catch? How do you make money?”

These are legitimate questions from a consumer who is shopping around for a DIY publishing platform. But, there is no catch! Booktango was created from a group of forward thinkers who wanted to provide tools for any author to publish themselves. We wanted a platform that empowered authors to invest as much (or as little) into getting their book available on major online retailers.

I want to take a minute to debunk three of the most popular Booktango myths floating the interwebs and give you honest and direct answers.

Myth #1: If I publish with Booktango, I have to give up the rights to my book. False! Our terms and conditions state we have non-exclusive rights to your book, which means you can publish with us and another publisher at the same time. You can also publish with us and have full rights to cancel your book and take it elsewhere if you receive a traditional publishing contract or other offers for rights to your book. In fact, we would be thrilled if one of our authors got their name and story out there and was subsequently picked up traditionally! Continue reading

10 Writing Prompts to get Your Creative Juices Flowing

10 Writing Prompts to Get Your Creative Juices Flowing

If you’ve hit a snag in your writing and can’t seem to come up with any new ideas, don’t worry — it happens to all of us. There comes a time when we all need a little help to get our creative juices flowing again. Whether you need to rejuvenate your work in progress or want to start a new writing project from scratch, we’ve got a writing prompt for you.

Rejuvenate your work in progress: Here are a few ideas for breathing new life into your current manuscript. Even if you end up writing something that has no place in your actual story, you might still discover something interesting.

1.  Write your character’s obituary.
Looking ahead to a character’s death might help you fill in some holes about his life that you can turn into interesting plot points or meaningful back story. What were his biggest accomplishments? How did he die? Who is he survived by?

2.   Change locations.
Take your characters out of their natural setting, and see what happens. A heated argument between newlyweds might unfold quite differently depending on whether it takes places in their home, a crowded bus or a company Christmas party. How can you use a setting to influence behavior, build tension and change the stakes? Continue reading

5 Ways to Promote your E-book on Goodreads

5 Ways to Promote your E-book on Goodreads

Now that you’re a self-published author with Booktango, it is time to spread the word about your e-book. A great, cost-effective place to start is the Internet, which is home to several free social media sites, such as Facebook and Twitter.

One of the latest social media trends is Goodreads – an online social book catalog where readers can interact with other readers, create virtual bookshelves, rate and review books.  A great way for you as an author to take advantage of Goodreads is to sign up for the Goodreads Author Program. The primary function of this free program is to help authors reach out to passionate readers. The program is a great place for you to promote your e-book.

How to promote your e-book on Goodreads: Continue reading

Three Ways to Maximize Your Royalties with Booktango

 Three Ways to Maximize Your Royalties with Booktango

One of the most common questions we receive at Booktango is “How can I earn more?” It is a legitimate question. For many of our authors their book was not just something done on a whim. You invested a great deal of time, effort, editing, re-editing, critiquing, designing and promoting your book. Like any good investor, you want to see a return on your investment! As we near the payout window for our Fourth Quarter royalties and many of you are anxiously checking your sales reports, I thought it would be timely to provide three tips to maximize your earnings. Continue reading

Self-publishing with Google Docs and Booktango, a first-hand Experience

Self-publishing with Google Docs and Booktango, a First-hand Experiences

This in-depth blog post about a Booktango author’s first-hand experience was originally posted on William L. Weaver’s blog, Choice Management.

The Booktango Service

In March of 2012, I came across Booktango, a service of Author Solutions in Bloomington, Indiana which is now owned by Penguin Books, that in turn is owned by Pearson, PLC. The cool thing about Booktango is that it is a freemium service that provides individuals an online website to assemble their eBook, scan it for formatting errors, register and assign an ISBN, produce PDF, MOBI, and EPUB files, and have them listed for sale at Booktango, Amazon, Google Play, Apple iTunes, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Scribd, and Sony.

All of the above services are 100% free, and there is an additional menu of packages you can purchase that currently range from $49 – $359. The add-on services for a fee include things that employ creative humans who assist in your project including editing, interior images, U.S. Copyright filing, consultation on social media promotion, custom cover design, and marketing assistance. Continue reading

How to Write Romance Novels without Crossing the Line

How to Write Romance Novels without Crossing the Line

We’re not judging you if you enjoyed reading Fifty Shades of Grey, but if you want to write a bit more…ahem…tasteful romance novels, here are a few tips.

1.)    Focus on the emotional rather the physical. If writing detailed love scenes makes you blush, skip the gritty details and focus on how excited your couple feels in the moment. Romance novels aren’t all about shock and awe. Stay away from X-rated details, and focus more on the flirty side of things, such as the rush one feels when a new love interest holds their hand. Continue reading

Twitter Marketing Secrets: Decoding Hashtags

Twitter Marketing Secrets: Decoding Hashtags

For writers just entering the world of Twitter, hashtags can seem like a bit of a mystery. But the concept is actually pretty simple, and there are plenty of ways to use hashtags to your advantage.

What is a hashtag?

A hashtag is simply a keyword or phrase (with no spaces) that is prefixed with the hashtag symbol #. Examples: #ebooks, #ilovebooks

When you include a hashtag in a tweet, the hashtagged word will appear as a link that connects that tweet to others using the same hashtag. Thus, hashtags work to help categorize your messages and make them easier for people to find.

For example, if you write a tweet about how you just surprised yourself with a new plot twist in your novel, you might add the hashtag #amwriting. This will further show readers what your tweet is about and will help your message become part of a larger conversation among people who are tweeting about their writing process.

What’s the point? Continue reading

Book Marketing: Timing is Everything

Book Marketing: Timing is Everything

Successfully promoting your book isn’t about a big break or an overnight sensation. You have to create a plan of action around a strategic timeframe. Too often authors become so excited with the thought of publishing their book that they forget to use their release date to their advantage. What do I mean exactly? Continue reading