Start Blogging: Lessons from author Marisa Treviño

In 2004, Marisa Treviño was working as an editor for a monthly trade magazine and was routinely published across the nation as a freelance opinion editorialist. Even though she was living off her writing, Marisa wasn’t completely satisfied. She was churning out columns more quickly than they could be published by outside media outlets, and she grew frustrated by her lack of control over the publishing processes for her writings.

The cure for Marisa’s frustration? To start a blog

She had heard about blogs; and the more she learned about them, the more she knew this was the answer. Finally, she would be able to control how often she published and could write whatever she wanted. So, she started writing daily blog posts about issues she cared about; and now, that little blog has evolved into a full-blown news site with an ever-growing readership.

Today, Marisa Treviño is a blogging expert. She recently published an e-book with Booktango — A Simple Start to Blogging with Social Media — to share her knowledge and experience with others. We talked with Marisa to learn more about her story and the advice she has to offer fellow writers: Continue reading

WINDFALL CONTEST: Publish Your Way to 10K

There are plenty of reasons an author might be tempted to publish an e-book with Booktango: there’s the freedom to publish when and how you want to, access to the biggest online retailers, and the highest author royalties in the industry. And if that wasn’t enough … for the rest of September, we at Booktango are making e-book publishing downright irresistible.

A Windfall of Prizes this September

Booktango is giving one lucky author over $10,000-worth of marketing services to help them promote their e-book:

Total prizes – worth $10,454

All you have to do to be considered is publish an e-book with Booktango by the end of September and send us a Tweet about it. It’s really that easy.

How to Enter the Windfall Contest

  1. Submit a manuscript for publication anytime from Sept. 10-30, 2012.
  2. Let the Twittersphere know about your upcoming e-book.
  3. That’s it! Just be patient and wait for us to announce the winner in October.

Why not go for it?

Simply by entering our Windfall Contest, you’ll end up with a published e-book you can be proud of. And if you win … well, then you’ll have all the tools you need to launch an effective online marketing plan to help your e-book reach its full bookselling potential.

Check out the contest terms and conditions, and enter the contest today.

 

Writing Quotes: A Quest for Information

If there’s one thing I know about writers, it’s this: writers spend a lot of time talking and thinking about writing. They read books, articles and blog posts about writing. They talk about it in workshops, at conferences, in online communities and over coffee with friends and mentors. Much of the conversation is a re-hashing of the same basic set of issues, ideas and writing fundamentals. I think this constant dialogue among writers is some type of personal quest — a search for an idea, phrased just so, that will spark a breakthrough in their own writing process. It’s all about finding the right advice at the right time. It’s a search for a phrase that jives with your writing style and opens your eyes to the type of storyteller you really want to be.

To help you on your own writerly quest, we’ve put together some of our favorite quotes on writing. We hope you discover something useful and inspiring in these little nuggets of wisdom from great writers:

On getting started:

“You don’t need to wait for inspiration to write. It’s easier to be inspired while writing than while not writing.”

– Josip Novakovich in Fiction Writer’s Workshop Continue reading

Q&A with Matt Hofeld: Are You Ready for Some (Sooner) Football?

Creator of the website Crimson and Cream Machine, Matt Hofeld is a true University of Oklahoma fan. And his book, 2012 Sooner Kickoff, is uniting fellow fans around the world. We asked Hofeld about the story behind his book and learned about the Sooners’ passionate fan base.

How long have you been a Sooner football fan?

My whole life. Growing up in Oklahoma you are either a Sooner or a Cowboy, and my family was OU all the way. The games were on at my house every Saturday; it was a family tradition to gather around and watch. I attended my first game in person in 1984, and as a 10-year-old, I became hooked for life.

When did your website, Cream and Crimson Machine, launch?

We launched Crimson and Cream Machine in August of 2006. The idea was to create a website for Sooner fans, by Sooner fans. In addition to the information that we post on a daily basis, there is opportunity for fans to create their own posts, display photos and link to articles that they find interesting. In the next few weeks we’ll surpass the 3 million visitor mark. Continue reading

Five Easy Ways to Optimize Your Facebook Fan Page

Creating a Facebook fan page for your book is a no-brainer. It’s an easy (and free) way to reach an audience; plus, millions of people spend an average of 8 hours on Facebook per month.

But, it can be overwhelming to build and maintain an active community of fans. Here, we break down five easy steps you should follow in order to optimize your Facebook outreach: Continue reading

Announcing New E-book Publishing Packages: Socializer & Eye Catcher

Since starting this blog back in April, we’ve discussed a wide variety of issues on the topic of e-book publishing. But we keep coming back to two key aspects that seem intrinsically important to publishing in the digital space: online marketing and e-book design.

As we’ve come to fully realize the importance of these topics, we’ve developed innovative enhancements to our online cover design platform, and we’ve added some unique e-book marketing services to help our authors create better-looking e-books and share them more efficiently with the world. Now, we’ve taken things a step further and created two new publishing packages that are designed to help authors meet their e-book publishing goals in these areas.

Introducing the Socializer package

Social media offers one of the most exciting opportunities for online book marketers; but it can also be one of the most daunting. There’s a lot to know and learn about the Continue reading

Is E-book Marketing Different than Print Book Marketing?

Marketing is marketing, right? Yes. The goal behind marketing a new book, regardless of the medium, is the same. You want to position a book so people will find it, buy it and read it. However, because of their format, there is a fundamental difference in the approach you should take for marketing e-books.

Your e-book is electronic, so people won’t be looking for it at the corner Barnes & Noble. But they will be looking for it online. Thus, the Internet is where you should focus e-book marketing.

While you may know how to write an e-book, marketing it online can be tricky unless you have a plan. Luckily, planning can be as simple as one, two, three.

One: Start with a Creative Brief

This is the starting point for any successful marketing plan. A creative brief helps you define several key points of your marketing strategy. Continue reading

What is more important than knowing how to price an e-book? Word-of-mouth.

Word of Mouth Marketing

If you’re like most authors, you’ve found yourself wondering how to price an e-book as you prepare to launch yours to the world. Over the last six months, there has been substantial debate regarding whether $0.99 was the right price for an e-book or not.  One thing that most successful authors and publishing professionals can agree upon is that word-of-mouth is a crucial part of a successful platform. And, when it comes to a reader recommending a book to a friend, the price of the book is rarely an issue. 

Think about the last book that you really loved reading.  Did you hand a physical copy to a friend or family member and say, “You’ve got to read this!” with exuberance?  How does that work with an e-book? It doesn’t seem practical to hand over your iPad or Kobo and say, “Take this home with you and give it back to me when you’re done with it.”

Here are ways to make your e-book tangible in a virtual world in order to promote recommendations of your book.  Continue reading

Overcome Writer’s Block with Seven Writing Prompts

“Writing about a writer’s block is better than not writing at all.” – Charles Bukowski

It could be the flashing cursor on an empty white page of your word processor. Or, it could be a crinkled sheet of lined paper that you overhand throw into a waste basket. No matter what it looks like, we all know what it means: writer’s block. Luckily there is a cure, and all you have to do is write.

Here are some writing prompts to get your brain in the write place.

1. Copycat

Take a story that you love, and add onto it. Love “Modern Family”?  Write a short story about the Dunphys going to the zoo. Love The Shining? Write about the next caretaker of the Overlook Hotel. Continue reading

Extra, Extra, Read all about…my book! Tips for interacting with Media

Hot off the presses, you have your book freshly published with Booktango.  But, no one knows about it sans family and friends. One of the most cost-effective ways to get your book in the hands of readers is to reach out to journalists and bloggers.  Although the work is not easy and may feel like a long and grueling process, the potential reward of having a book review, story or any coverage for your book is great.

Remember, getting access to journalists and bloggers is not advertising. They are doing you a service by providing free coverage for your book. But, how exactly do you contact the media?

Start with a ripple effect. The ripple effect is best because it starts with people you know. It may seem like an easy start if you’re from a small town, but it can seem daunting if you’re from a larger town or a city. Think of your network as a pool. Local churches, associations and even your company can be helpful networks in gaining access to media contacts in your community.

Remember to be personable. As you gain access to new journalists and bloggers, begin researching those in neighboring counties and cities. Share the first story with the new journalist.

When talking with journalists and bloggers here are some things to remember: Continue reading