IngramElliott Publishing honored with four winning titles by the 13th Annual National Indie Excellence Awards
IngramElliott Publishing is proud to announce that four of our titles have been named as Finalists or Winners in the 13th Annual National Indie Excellence Awards! The National Indie Excellence® Awards (NIEA) celebrates indie publishing and is proud to be a champion of independent presses "going the extra mile" to produce books of excellence in every aspect.
IngramElliott Publishing truly appreciates the NIEA recognition for these amazing titles and we congratulate our winning authors!
Earlier this month, the Clown William series won the Bronze Medal for Best Fiction Series in the 2019 IPPY Awards and book one in the series, Clown William, was the 2018 IPPY Silver Award winner for Best First Book/Fiction. Set in the late 1800s, this fresh twist on the Western features an unlikely gunslinger with Tourette Syndrome.
Creating an author blog can be an effective extra 'step' in creating your author platform and reaching your audience. Since blogs can be on any topic you like - including those related to or in support of your book - you may pick up additional readers or reviewers interested in taking a look at your book.
If readers haven't used the particular keywords in their search for you (read more about keywords and meta in our blog post here), they may not immediately see your book pop up in results. Using meta data in your blog post, including keywords and categories, will help search engines find your blog, and in turn, find you as an author. Also include social media share buttons on your blog post (most platforms do this automatically), so that followers can easily post your content to their networks.
Blog posts can be topics of interest for your readers or related to your area of expertise or knowledge. For fiction writers, a little less straightforward than non-fiction writers, which typically have a specific area of expertise, it may mean relying on your personal experience and tying it into your fiction work.
Building an audience takes time.
Building an audience takes time.
Building an audience takes time.
The above is not a typo . . . but it's worth repeating. Whether it's an author blog, author social media sites, author events, and other ways to build your brand, it takes commitment, time, and consistency.
Blogs aren't for everyone and that's okay. You can get the straight-talk from one of our favorite bloggers of business advice for writers, Jane Friedman, in her post Blogging for Writers. She says, "The most successful blogs have a very focused angle and appeal to a very specific audience."
Creating a blog takes time, but may be worth it if you have an author website to which you can add the content (read our blog post on building an author website). It's best to use the platform you are already using for your author website - this keeps everything in one place and helps keep your marketing (social media links, blog links, author bio and info, events, book info) all in one place. There are many good and easy to use author website platforms. You can also work with a virtual marketing assistant to help set one up.
Another easy-to-use blog opportunity is your Goodreads Author Page. Once your author profile is setup on Goodreads, they make it pretty easy. From your Author Dashboard, scroll down until you see Your Blog. From here you'll have options to write a new post or sync with a pre-existing blog. Goodreads Authors are the only members who can have a blog on the site, so take advantage!
So give your potential readers useful and interesting information, and hopefully those beginnings will bloom into followers and purchasers.
Vince Bailey is on a roll! Vince's debut novel, Path of the Half Moon, was the winner of the Arizona Authors' Association Literary Award and now this supernatural book series is the First in Category Winner in the 2018 Chanticleer International Book Awards Best Paranormal and Supernatural Fiction Books Contest.
After being named a Semi-Finalist in the contest, Vince was invited to attend the 2019 Chanticleer Authors Conference in Bellingham, Washington. This unique and progressive conference was jammed packed with featured sessions and workshops on the business, marketing, and technologies of publishing and of being an author.
Vince enjoyed his time at the conference and was thrilled to walk away with a First In Category win for Paranormal Fiction, truly a great honor. Vince said, "I think it was a great forum for Path, and attending the program provided a great learning event for me, especially in terms of media marketing."
The awards ceremony began in the evening with the banquet catered by the Hotel Bellwether, and sixteen presenters recognized all of the CIBA Semi-Finalists who were in attendance before announcing his or her division’s First Place Category winners for each of the sixteen divisions.
Path of the Half Moon is a truly unique and edgy novel--the first in a series following the story's hero, young Curtis Jefferson. Path of the Half Moon is a paranormal historical fiction tale set in a remote detention facility for wayward boys in the early sixties. Curtis is an African American youth whose character and physical endurance are tested by a murderous inmate and a century-old Apache curse. The novel presents an edgy and thrilling escape from the ordinary, and is being recognized for it's strong thematic elements, including the blurry edges between reality and the supernatural.
Vince is currently working on the second novel in the Curtis Jefferson series, Courses of the Cursed. Learn more and follow the author at www.vincebaileyauthor.com and on Twitter @vincebailey20.
Congratulations to our author, Vince, on his win!
As the buds are popping brightly and birds are seeking new nesting places, this week’s blog post hopes to inspire our author friends to seek out new followers and uncover potential markets to spring your book into spring!
While most authors are hesitant to market themselves and their books, if this is your career, keep in perspective that your book is the product and all products require a marketing and sales strategy . . . no different than any other business. Marketing is an investment in your career.
The most important aspect of marketing and promoting your book (outside of knowing your audience) is to engage your audience, fans and readers. You can do this via a variety of platforms, many of which we’ve covered in this year’s blog posts and which we will touch on again here.
Who are your readers?
In today's digital world, if you want your book to stand out, you're going to have to step up and get involved in the promotion, which often means communicating directly with your target audience through a variety of channels (online and social media, in-person, through print media, etc.). Get to know your audience! Are they working moms, soccer dads, book clubbers, or glamorous literati? What are your readers reading? And what forums do they use to find new books? Use the intelligence you gather to target your marketing efforts and reach out to those segments.
You can use your established social media presence (even if that’s a Goodreads or Amazon Author Profile) to promote your title. Promotions such as giveaways (available for a fee on Goodreads) are available for FREE on your social media sites. You can setup a giveaway on Instagram or Facebook, for example, by asking your followers to tag your book page (or author page) in a post, follow you, and comment on an Instagram posting. Once they’ve done these things, put their name in a hat and at the end of your giveaway timeframe, send them a direct message and send them their book in exchange for a review on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Goodreads.
Blogs & Reviews
You can work with a blog tour company (TLC Book Tours is one we love) to setup a blog tour for reviewers of your work. If you don’t want to pay a service for this help (which is well worth it, in our view, as you get guaranteed reviews and mentions), you can still compile a list of bloggers and book reviewers and email them asking them if they will review your book in exchange for a free copy. They will then usually post the review of your book on their blog, which has lots of followers – which in turn – can become your followers. As we mentioned in a recent blog post about writing for free, you can also contribute articles to relevant magazines or online blog sites, which is another way you can keep raising your author profile.
Find bloggers that will review your book. This can be as simple as googling reviewers based on your genre. Make a list of bloggers that you want to engage for a review and giveaway. For example, here’s a Google search for Historical Fiction Reviewers.
Publicity, author events, and media appearances can also generate awareness for you as an author and connect you with local readers. At each event, you may want to create a gift basket giveaway, with a signed copy of your book, bookmarks, and other merch, in exchange for collecting email addresses. Building a strong email list is a key component in building your followers and reaching your buyers over time. You may also want to consider hiring a publicist. There are lots of book marketing and publicity firms out there – you just need to take some time and look for local agencies in your area that specialize in book publicity. Here’s a great article by book marketing guru Jane Friedman that helps authors understand what to expect when working with a publicist.
Personal selling can be one of the most persuasive selling tools because it allows two-way communication. Consider the following markets:
If you are not familiar with networking, start with people you know: friends, family, co- workers, alumni, and neighbors. Then move on to less-familiar people. Again, avoid overtly selling to people in your network; instead, ask them for referrals and to spread the word about your book. When personally networking, begin by introducing yourself and mentioning who referred you.
Keep in mind that readers want to talk with the author. We talked about creating your own individual social media platforms (Facebook, Goodreads, Instagram, etc.) and through these you can connect with everyone you know. In these posts, you can write about your book, give readers insider information, and even share other titles that you are reading and that inspired you or are of interest to you.
One great asset you have in your personal network is the ability to ask your contacts to provide reviews for online retailers for Amazon, Barnes and Noble, IndieBound, Kobo, iBooks, and Goodreads (or wherever they buy books). If you have professionals and industry experts in your network, offer to give them a book to review in exchange for a free copy. You can also consider paid reviewers such as ForeWord Clarion and Kirkus Indie to get a professional review of your book.
Relax and take stock.
Most importantly, take a break and take a breath. Building your audience is an experience to enjoy and share. It takes time and patience to build an audience as a new author. Word of mouth is the least cost and most effective way we’ve come across to do this, so keep at it. One reader at a time.
Last summer, Clown William's unique title character, William - an 1870's gunslinger with Tourette's and a quick draw - took home the Silver Medal for Best First Book at the 22nd Annual IPPY Awards in New York City.
Now William's back at it, bringing home the Bronze Medal for Best Fiction Series in the 2019 IPPY Awards, which honored books one and two in the series: Clown William & Clown William and the Lincoln County War.
Author Robin Elno should be very proud of his efforts -- the quality of this year's entries was truly outstanding, which means the competition was extremely tough. You can see all this year's winner's on the website of the Independent Publisher Book Awards.
The author, Robin Elno, is a retired army colonel, semiretired psychiatrist, and full-time author. He lives in San Antonio, Texas, and is an active member of the San Antonio Writers’ Guild.
Robin drew inspiration for William from a series of books and articles on the impact of neurological conditions on physical abilities. In his research, the author learned people with Tourette Syndrome can target point five times faster than average.
"The inspiration for Clown William came from an Oliver Sacks article (author of "Awakenings"). The speed and accuracy of those who have this condition inspired the creation of the character William and his subsequent adventures," says the author Robin Elno. "What might appear a handicap can also be an advantage. Nature puts things in balance. Our comic book heroes have strengths that rise out of a difference from ordinary people. So does William. I hope readers feel empowered by how William learns to accept the good and the bad."
Once your book is published, it's critical to build your audience. This doesn't happen overnight, but rather one night (or day) at a time. We've highlighted several components of building an author brand in past blog posts: Building meta data into everything you do on your author platforms is a way to promote your book with every search; Taking one step at a time to build your author brand; Digging into the mechanics of creating an author website; Pumping up the volume on your social sites; and Strategies for marketing yourself as an author. A big part of continuing to build your author brand is to find new ways to connect with readers.
Creating new content, like articles and short pieces, based on your book or variations on your books theme is a great way to do just that.
Everything you write has the potential to generate book sales. This could be as simple as a book review on Goodreads, a blog on your website, or converting your book (or pieces of your book) into short fiction or article-length pieces to pitch to magazines or online periodicals.
You can create these pieces and offer them for free to newspapers and websites in your specific area of expertise or that cover topics highlighted in your book. For example, a novel about an exotic location could be perfect for an article or excerpt in a travel magazine or blog. Newspapers, online sites, bloggers, and magazines are always looking for strong content - and you are a published author! So put that street cred to work for you. In the bio included after your piece, you have an opportunity to mention your book and your website, which may lead to new relationships online (and down the road, new buyers for your book).
This type of content marketing is sneaky - it helps you build relationships and promote your brand as a contributor and author, all while giving you the opportunity to mention who you are as an author and send readers to your social platforms to follow you and learn more.
So write for free . . . and watch it pay off in sales (and great new relationships to boot)!
Here's a SmartBlogger article about writing for online publications, but there are others, just search on Google and start submitting!
Author Chad A. Webster's new podcast "Please Pass the Bacon" hopes to help police connect with the community
Chad A. Webster seems to do it all . . . in addition to his role as a Charlotte police officer and author of the middle-grade Mystery Muffin book series, he's now adding YouTube star to his list of credits. Chad's new podcast, Please Pass the Bacon, is available as a podcast and YouTube channel. Chad says, "The podcast hopes to 'peoplize the police' and connect with the community through good news stories and humor."
So far, the response has been positive. Chad and the 'Bacon' team have been covered by WCNC and Spectrum News and will be featured on Pat McCrory's radio show on WBT this Friday, March 29 from 9:30 and 10 am Eastern Time.
Chad has also used this opportunity to promote his author brand and his books, which are an important part of his personal mission. In writing about neighborhood detectives that often partner with the police department to solve mysteries, he hopes to reinforce the benefits of family and community while entertaining readers of all ages.
It may not seem sensational, but the words an author uses to describe his or her book (or his or her self) from book descriptions to author bios to social media posts matters! Meta data is the key to how search engines find book information and help present it to potential readers. This an be words, phrases, and paragraphs and can be a great way to promote and market your book on the sly. Sites that sell books discover products via search engines and distribute the information that is provided by the publisher, author, or marketer. It's important to use consistent key words and descriptions within Goodreads, Amazon Author Central, and across any author blogs, websites, and social media sites you maintain.
To help connect readers, curators, reviewers, and buyers with your book, select valuable keywords and phrases that best describe your book. This could be in your ISBN listing or Amazon product listing (you can work with your publisher to refine these), as well as any web pages you manage, descriptions and bios on social media sites, and the content in your blogs and author profiles on the web.
It's a good idea to keep a master list of strategic keywords and phrases you intend to leverage across platforms. Even if you are writing an article or participating in a media interview, plugging your meta data into these venues will help reinforce your brand and help readers find your book!
Think about your potential reader and super-fan - what words and phrases would they enter into a search engine to find your book? Test this out on Amazon and Goodreads to see if they return books that are similar to yours and would attract your buyers. You can leverage Google Trends for more ideas on keywords by popularity and how often they are searched. Tip - the less popular keywords will have less competition and may allow your book to rise to the top!
Work on your list until you have a list of 10-25 words and phrases you plan to leverage every time you mention yourself or your book. Put them in order of importance, with the top 10 being those you rely on and keep in your memory (or back pocket) to pull out anytime you are posting on social media, writing a blog, or interacting on Goodreads.
But most of all, just keep it simple, make sure it reflects the brand you're looking to create, and have fun with it!
Author Vince Bailey was welcomed warmly by readers and fans at a recent author event, held at Barnes & Noble Arrowhead in his hometown of Peoria, Arizona. Vince met with readers and passers by and signed copies of his paranormal historical fiction novel, Path of the Half Moon. Path was recently named an official SEMI-FINALIST for the PARANORMAL Book Awards for Supernatural Fiction, a division of the Chanticleer International Book Awards (CIBAs) and is the previous winner of the Arizona Authors' Association Literary Award.
Vince Bailey’s award-winning Path of the Half Moon is a paranormal historical fiction tale set in a remote detention facility for wayward boys in the early sixties. Curtis is an African American youth whose character and physical endurance are tested by a murderous inmate and a century-old Apache curse.
Vince Bailey grew up in Central Arizona and his experiences there contribute significantly to the nostalgic aspect of his fiction writing. Path of the Half Moon is his debut novel, and Vince also pens a column for a nationally distributed trade periodical. Mr. Bailey currently resides in Peoria, Arizona with his wife, Rita. He's currently working on the next book in the Path of the Half Moon series.
Connect with Vince Bailey at:
Read more about Path of the Half Moon and shop Path merchandise. IngramElliott and Vince send many thanks to Barnes and Noble Arrowhead for supporting local authors in their store!
#indiepublishing #barnesandnoble #localauthors #pathofthehalfmoon #ingramelliottpublishing
Mark Your Calendars for Mystery! Meet middle-grade author Chad A. Webster on Saturday, March 10 at 2 pm at B&N Arboretum
Learn more about the Mystery Muffin & Soda Pop Slooth Series!