As you may know, I am trying to create a network on Twitter with the goal of letting people get to know me a little better and eventually take a chance and read my books. I am, by nature, a very shy person - digitally, as well. Until I published my book I was never active on Facebook, rarely even looked at Twitter and don't even have a Snapchat or Instagram account.
Now that I've joined Twitter and have gotten to know a world of indie authors I didn't know existed, I get a lot of book promotions on my feed. What caught my eye about most of them is the fact that they are mostly clickable images.
Twitter can't do that.
That's how I came across Twitshot.
Twitshot is basically a service that helps you twit images connected to an image. In my case, I was looking to do what I see other authors do and twit a promo of my book with the cover as a clickable link:
Here are the basics of Twitshot:
I also downloaded the shortcut on chrome in order to have it readily available whenever I want to tweet my books as clickable links. Here's my first one:
One more step into becoming known.
I met Robin Hutton on Twitter. Immediately he messaged me a link to his webpage. I went ahead and downloaded his book "17 Self-Publishing Bullets for Writers". I have found that Twitter is filled with authors who want to be known and want to help other authors. I hope I can be that author one day.
Right now, I am reading Tim Hutton's book.
It will take me some time to go through it all, but so far, he has outlined my author life perfectly. Like many, it took a lot of courage on my part to publish my book. It took me 18 years to gather that courage. Then, I became one of the many in an ocean of writers trying to get people to invest in my books.
I have abandoned the dream of making any money with my writing. Right now, I just want people to get to know my books because I, myself, think they are great. I highly recommend you follow Mr. Hutton and download his book. If you are like me, you'll need all the help you can get.
Last night I finished revising "Vocation", the fourth of five short stories I'm preparing to be published in the collection I will name "A Few Drops of Fantasy".
"Vocation" came to be while I began to wonder why certain people had certain religions. I began to wonder how difficult it would be for someone to adopt the religion that is most practiced in a totally different country. As I thought about social and cultural repercussions of this, I came to transform my questioning into the short story "Vocation", because what if... what if we weren't free to just choose the religion we practice?
I started writing when I was in college (about 20 years ago). Back then, the internet was still very new and the Kindle, as we know it now, didn't exist. I wrote mostly on paper, too. I used dozens of sheets of white paper to write my stories. Never a notebook, only white paper. It wasn't after graduating from college that I started writing in the only Macintosh computer we owned.
By then, email began more important. I could work and then email my stories to friends. I didn't even have to print them anymore.
It was a little after that time that I entered two contests. I lost miserably, or at least, I never knew anything about my submissions. Both times I submitted my story "Ordinary Problems", which will be featured in my upcoming short story collection "A Few Drops of Fantasy". I'm especially proud of that story, but I can understand why it wasn't good enough. As I am revising it today, I see that I was a very different writer then than I am now.
Times have changed. Publishing has, too.
Back then, if I intended to publish my book, I would need to write a submission letter and email to different publishing houses - together with my manuscript. Then the rejections would begin. In fact, I doubt any agent would have picked up my book. If J.K. Rowling herself was rejected so many times, or Stephen King, or some of the other great ones, where did that leave me?
Unfortunately, rejection is still in my future. Or is it?
Now I can self-publish. It's pretty much a free endeavor. Sure, you still need to prep your book for publication, generate a decent cover, write a summary, all those things; but you can just put your story out there for millions instead of a few literary agents.
Will your story be read? Maybe not. Just like being rejected by a bunch of agents, you will be rejected by a greater number of people (billions), but your work will be out there forever. Not like writing submission letters, giving up and stop doing it all together. With digital books, your work is out there just waiting to be discovered.
It will happen.
I know it.
I will not rest until my time here is done.
Good luck out there!
In my search for an audience, I have found Twitter.
I've had a Twitter account since 2010, but I rarely used it. Well, this week I figured I could make it public, post about my blogs and books and maybe get people to know me a little better, or enough to try my books.
I started Twitter this week with 17 followers, but slowly I have found many of my fellow self-published author doing the same thing I'm doing. Slowly, I am becoming part of their world. I am still rather new at this, but in time, I will begin to feel like a true Indie Author!
As I follow self-published authors, they follow me in return. Together, we form this special brotherhood. It's really nice to know I'm not alone. It may take years, but eventually I will get people to trust me with their imaginations.
Most places I've read say I need to do social media exposure at least six months before publishing. New to this world, I had no idea about any of this until a few months ago. I am slowly learning. It's funny how you don't know about the existence of some worlds until you become a part of them.
Well, I've been doing some more research, and now I am going to try to pay for someone to design a cover. So, I got on Fiverr (a website of freelance who offer their services) and paid $11 to have a cover designed for my first book (The Recruit).
Now, after I paid, I got a weird Q/A page. First of all, it asked my the industry my book is about. Well, the categories didn't include fiction. So much for that.
Then I got asked the title, subtitle, author and size/# of pages in case of print.
And then, it asked me for a photo.
Why would I pay for someone to design my cover if I have to provide the photo? I know how to use photoshop, my problem is not using a design program, my problem is choosing the right photo.
So, I wrote what my book was about and what kind of photo was recommended.
I there I was thinking I had paid to be forced to find a picture, which basically meant I would loose $11.
A few hours later, I get an email from the designer saying she is working on the cover.
After 3 tries, I finally decided on a book cover.
Here it is!
In my search to become a more known person digitally, I came across this video hosted by author Ann Eckhart. You can find her blog at seeannsave.com. Ann is a nonfiction author I discovered by looking around ways to better market my book and get people to read it. Actually, my new goal is to make my book free in order to get people to read it, review it and create a following.
The video interested me because Ann explained how most of us self-published authors are likely to fail.
Yes. I know.
But, she goes on to ask what she believes are four important questions you should ask yourself to find out if self-publishing is for you.
I decided to answer the questions:
1. Do you like English Language Arts and are good at it?
English is not my native language, and yet I am very good at it. I studied my Masters in the United States and communicate efficiently with anyone. Also, for a while I was the English Language teacher for a third grade class. I've had to study English in order to be successful at my job and, when it comes to writing, I feel more comfortable doing it in English. I also scored high on the SAT, I hope that counts for something.
2. Are you an avid reader?
Yes, I am. I love to read. I read fiction, mostly, and I like reading different genres. I read every day and I have a long list of books I want to read. I will never stop reading.
3. Were you already a writer?
My answer is yes to this question, too! I started writing in college. I started writing fanfiction (about the Vampire Chronicles) and then I began writing my own original stories. Right now I have written about 50 stories (some long, some short) and feel very protective of them.
4. Will you be happy even if your book doesn't sell?
Definitely. I will be all right. Although, wouldn't it be nice if other people enjoyed my stories just like I enjoy them? That sure is the dream... at least it's mine.
Thanks for reading!
I don't watch as much anime as I used to. I remember growing up watching cartoons that were anime, although I had no idea they were. Years passed before I realized they were; I also learned the difference between anime and manga (in a nutshell: anime=video, manga=comic book).
It also took a while for me to discover that the Japanese culture was a little different than western culture.
At first, to me anime meant a 20 minute cartoon where the main character - and his/her friends -gets in trouble, everything is about to collapse, and then the hero/heroine is victorious.
It wasn't until I started college that I discovered the other anime. Anime that was not meant for kids. As much as I enjoyed Sailor Moon or Saint Seiya, it was nothing like watching Akira for the first time.
Anime like Akira, Alita Battle Angel or Evangelion, meant to me that a story could be crazy, magical, impossible... and still make sense.
The Japanese had a different way to looking at like and not just because the storylines didn't follow the format of the American storylines didn't make it wrong. On the contrary, it still make sense and could even get to be poetic.
I loved that!
Characters in these animes also had a different depth than western characters. They talked, thought and experience things that I experienced that I was still to find in American television.
Anime is definitely an inspiration to me, because even when it all seems like it doesn't make any sense, or if it seems like no one should like it, there's always an audience for everything.
I had to get used to the way anime was presented, I had to get used to make sense of it and, I believe that it changed the way I look at things.
My husband and I are always looking for new anime to experience. Lately, we highly recommend Claymore and Another.
Want to know what I'm talking about, check out these great anime:
I have finished revising the third of the short stories I will publish in my collection A Few Drops of Fantasy.
This is one of my favorite stories, it's called Ordinary Problems and it's about two friends getting together to discuss their problems about life. I wrote it a while back, when I worked at a factory scheduling production. I used to complain about how unfair my bosses were because they wouldn't give me a promotion because I was too young and a girl (I was 24 at the time).
I guess it shows that sometimes it's not a good idea to just complain about everything.
I hope you enjoy it when it comes out!
I published my first book about 2 months ago, but only this week did it occurred to me to see if it was listed on Goodreads. I have no idea where Goodreads takes its data base, but I am beginning to suspect it's mostly from amazon.com. It may also look at the other databases, like Nook, Kobo, etc... I really don't know.
The bottomline is my book is on Goodreads. It feels like an accomplishment, really.
The only problem with my book when I first looked it up, was that even when it listed Claudia Silva as the author, this Claudia Silva was NOT me.
It listed another Claudia Silva who writes books in Spanish.
It took a long time to figure out if I would be using my name as the author's name or a pseudonym. I decided to use my own name and never thought to check if there were other author's who shared my name.
Oh, well... Food for thought for now.
I clicked on my book and on a link to claim my book if it didn't belong to the author it was listed under and it took me to a page where they asked me who I was, which books weren't mine and other information. After about one day of waiting, I got an email from Goodreads saying I had my own Author Dashboard.
Here's my Author's Dashboard:
As you can see it merged with my Reader's Dashboard. It now lists on one side how many books I have, my ratings, reviews and how many people have my book on their to-read shelf. It also tells me how many followers I have, my friends as a reader, the books I've read and the books I've reviewed (I should get on that, shouldn't I?)
Then, it also has additional information:
As you can see it also lists your blog. You actually have the choice of starting a blog there on Goodreads or import your blog. Then it also gives you the option of pay for advertisement (you need to request information for that), or the option to start a giveaway (I'm too chicken for giveaways right now).
Overall, just the fact that I'm on Goodreads makes my year, now I only wish I could get someone to read my book. I can't wait to be able to put it on sale for Free again to get more people to download it. Maybe one of those people will read it and leave a review.