Saturday, September 17, 2011

Submissions for Freebie Friday (30 Sep) #writing #indie #pubtip #myWANA #WITS

The point of the Friday feature is to get the Indie Authors featured some exposure to new readers (and to get my readers some free stuff they'll enjoy reading).

I am already pre-booked for Friday 23 Sep 11 and have someone already ahead of schedule for the #1 spot on Friday, 30 Sep 2011. Since I only feature 3 books each week, and it's a first come, first serve basis, that means there are only 2 spots left for Sep 30th. Please take a look at the comments in place before you and know that your spot in the comment queue is your spot on the feature list. After the Sep 30th feature is full, I'll definitely start booking the Oct 7th feature so feel free to comment here even if it's 2 weeks out. Your coupon codes won't be due until (at the latest) 1700 hrs ET the Thursday before your featured date.

Also, until I reply with a comment using my Heidi Klum voice (like from Project Runway, where she tells contestants, "You are IN. You may leave the runway.") you are submitted but not yet "in" the feature. I'll review your submission, test-click your link and then post a comment and try to note your position/date.

I try to check comments once a day so give me at least 24 hours (and be sure to tick the checkbox to "send followup comments to your email" or whatever it says to subscribe to the comments. If I need more information and you aren't answering but someone else submits a complete entry, they are in before you. It's not that hard. Honest!

Sounds great! How do I join?

If you're a reader, come back Friday and choose the free eBook you want to read. Use the coupon code on Friday's post at checkout to get it at Zero Dollars ($0.00)

If you're an Indie Author, you'll need to have an English-language book that is on a web site and/or can be downloaded in multiple formats. I won't specify formats, but I highly suggest a minimum of Kindle (MOBI) and Nook/Apple (EPUB) formats, as those 2 file formats alone will saturate 90% or more of the market. The book needs to be priced at "free" or be made free for a day on Friday for the feature or for any length of time that includes the Friday you're being featured. Smashwords coupons are great. If you want to generate the coupon in advance but not place it on the blog, that's fine. Follow @webbiegrrl on Twitter and then you can DM me the coupon code -- wait until I've told you you're IN though.

Your "book" must be a completed work (no WIPs or partials please) and you must be the copyright owner to submit it, but it can be a collection of short stories, poetry or any genre of fiction. I even welcome non-fiction.

If I read your description and/or sample, I reserve the right to edit my presentation of your book to note that your categorization doesn't, in my opinion, match your book's actual content. I won't post a "bait and switch" for my readers. I also reserve the right to edit your description to adapt it to a more "sales copy" style for presentation in my feature. You are welcome to take whatever edits I make and reuse them if you like how I adapt your description on my blog. It's your book being described, after all.

Entering the book

It's pretty easy. You enter a comment. One comment per book. Most people have no trouble doing this but it seems every now and then, there's one person somewhere who has some issue. I apologize if these instructions seem incredibly long or ridiculously detailed. It's a result of the issues that have come up. I keep trying to figure out how to explain this so it'll be really, really clear. For everyone, not just "most."

When you enter your comment on this post, first thing (so you don't forget) please be sure to tick the checkbox that subscribes you to the comment thread (to be notified of followup comments). I stress this so that I can be sure to have a means of reaching you should there be any questions about your entry. I will not hunt you down or chase after you to be featured on my blog. Trust me, there are better things for me to do with my time.

I will post a comment on the thread and give you a second shot at getting in if your initial entry has some problem/issue. If you don't come back to reply before someone else gets a correct submission in or if the deadline passes, you lose. The deadline for submissions is always the preceding Thurs. @ 1700hrs Eastern Time (USA). Please enter as early as possible - first come, first serve!

Option A - Smashers

Just give me your Smashwords book page URL and if applicable, Smashwords coupon code. That's it. I'll get everything I need from the book's page myself. Note, as I said, you can follow @webbiegrrl and after you're accepted on the comment thread, DM me the coupon code.

I will click through to confirm your deets, to confirm your book has a picture, to test click the links before I post the blog and I'll test out using the coupon code Friday morning at oh-dark-thirty. I might even keep a copy of the book for myself! ^_^ No promises but fair warning. Everything must work or I'll use a different free book. There are tons of free books out there.

Option B - Everyone Else  (EE)

In your comment, put:
  1. your book's title and your author/pen name
  2. your book's genre and approximate word count
  3. a URL to the book's page (please test it to be sure it works!)
  4. If your book does not have a cover, please provide a cover image (give me the URL of where the image is located online so I can link to it from my blog post without having to up/download anything). The image must match the book. You must be the copyright owner of the image and the book. Please do not provide me with images you do not have the rights to use.
  5. If your book requires a coupon or other method to make it be free, please provide the "free key" here.
To add multiple books, please use multple comments.

That is, one book +/or link per comment. If you post multiple links in one comment, and they're clickable links, you'll be considered to be spamming me. If Blogger doesn't filter you, I will. One book, one comment. Thanks! If you don't make them clickable and don't appear to be spamming, I'll post a reply asking you to remedy the situation. This is not to be anal or a bitch, it's to use the same rules for everyone. It's the only way I know to be fair (to myself, as well! I only have so much time in my life to donate to your marketing efforts--free of charge--hint hint. *grin*)

What else do I have to do?

Since "strength in numbers" is only an effective marketing tool when we all participate, firstly, I would ask that you immediately follow @webbiegrrl on Twitter as soon as you submit your book. Don't wait, you might forget to do it. I'll follow you back so it's not a hardship on you, is it?

One of the things I've started doing in September is including @mentions of the featured authors' Twitter IDs in the blog title which Networked Blogs will then auto-tweet immediately after the blog is posted. If you don't follow me and/or tell me your Twitter ID, I can't really help you with the tweeting effort, can I?

How else does this get exposure?

Speaking of tweeting, I'll give the blog exposure using all of the social media tools I can, but if you have any ideas of how to get further reach, please speak up--or just post the link somewhere you know wants to hear about free reads. I use Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads and Amazon's Kindleblogs to reach readers. I would love to have new avenues (wouldn't we all?) but those seem to be the best and busiest paths.

Tweeting protocols

No later than 10am Eastern Time/USA, Networked blogs will pull the feed and auto-tweet the post. That posts it to my Facebook Fan Page and pass a tweet through to @webbiegrrl. I try to immediately do a manual tweet with better wording and an ( link that doesn't embed the blog in a set of Networked Blogs frames.

In addition, I've just recently discovered Hootsuite's scheduler feature so I've started scheduling tweets throughout the day and evening, every couple of hours, featuring one title per auto-tweet. I'll @mention all of you if I can. Please RT any/all of the tweets I blast on Fridays that have the link to the blog even if it's not about your book. It's still going to the same blog post where your book is featured so it's actually advertising for your book even if the "featured" name in the tweet isn't yours. Collective power only works when the Collective works together.

Please try to give your Tweeps advance notice that you'll be featured (mention it on #WorthWatching Wednesday and/or Thursday and ask them to help you out by RT'ing the blog link tweets on Friday. Everytime someone hits RT, everyone featured author gets a new mention on Twitter with everyone else's followers. It's exponential marketing power. Use it by tweeting and asking your own tweeps to RT.

On Wed/Thurs, I work at the day job, but I'll check into Twitter at lunchtime and definitely reply to any @mentions you make with the blog link so if you want to "conveniently" have a conversation with me in advance of your planned feature on the blog, please do so. It's great PR for everyone. Be sure to name your book so it's a good, solid promo tweet then just link to the blog main page as "I'll be featured here on Friday" kind of thing:

Other Social Media Blasts

Personally, I try to post the link to the blog to as many of the indie author and Kindle reader groups as I have joined on Facebook, including the Smashwords FB Page, and I post in a few other reader groups that I belong to for added reach on Facebook.

If you "like" the Webbiegrrl Writer Facebook Fan Page, or subscribe to this blog via Networked Blogs, you'll get the link in your newsfeed as though the blog is one of your FB friends. When you see the post, please click to "Share" it with your own Facebook friends (be sure to choose the thumbnail of your own book so it's noticeable to your peeps).

You can also post it to any Facebook groups you belong to that welcome Indie Author links or are interested in hearing about new books to read.

I don't really use my LinkedIn profile but if you do, please do 2 things:
1 - Create a "position" for the upcoming blog appearance and
2 - Please tweet me a note with your profile on #LI and I'll try to "recommend" you in that new "position." This will show up in your LI newsfeed as though it's a paying gig, like an Author Appearance or Book Signing event.

Please do not make stuff up but getting your LI tweeps informed is always a good thing. Plus it'll be there for posterity's sake as part of your authorial career experience. Good content for your future PR page (don't have one of these? start one now)


On Goodreads, I belong to several Kindle and book-review related groups (and I'm joining more all the time). I've either created a thread where I post the link every week or will post a note if the group doesn't like to have us Indie Authors "camping out to promo books" in the group.

If I specifically mention you and you're on Goodreads, I might link to your Goodreads author profile (using the built-in Goodreads tool for looking up authors/books), so make sure your Author Profile is correctly linking if you can.

Assuming you're on Goodreads, help the Collective by posting the link to the blog in your own Goodreads groups--or make your appearance on the blog a one-day-only "Goodreads event" using the blog's home URL ( as the "destination." If you invite me to your event of being featured on my blog, I'll accept and spread the word around (tweet it). Don't forget to advertise the event to your own fans yourself.

You can also post a Goodreads blog entry on your Goodreads Author Page mentioning your appearance on the Webbiegrrl Blog. If you tick the box to post your event and/or blog to your Twitter and/or Facebook accounts, Goodreads will auto-tweet it for you. Make it a big deal and it will become one.

There are a lot of book blogs out there, and many invite Indie Authors to post notes about their books. Nearly all of them love to get free reads--who doesn't? Use them.

I don't tend to post the Friday feature to too many of the review sites, as the books are not my own titles and I don't want to get into conversations with reviewers about other people's books. I'm not your agent; I'm just giving you some free advertising in exchange for the free content of your book on my blog which hopefully will get me some new followers on the blog and/or on Twitter. I don't usually see much of an increase on Fridays (more on Mondays and Tuesdays when I do my author-how-to- blogs)

Other Ideas?

If you have marketing ideas, please share them in a comment on this Submissions thread to let us all know we can do to get the word out further. Until the day that one appearance here makes a best-seller overnight, I know I can always improve my process! For now, I'm syndicated onto Facebook, Twitter and the Kindleblogs store at Amazon. Thanks for playing!

Now let's give away some books!


Paul Fenton said...

Thanks for this Sarah ... holding my breath now and crossing my fingers. While I can cross my fingers for days at a time, I struggle to hold my breath for more that an hour or two. No pressure.

Webbiegrrl Writer said...

Hi again, Paul,

Don't hold your breath! Yikes, I was working a 14 hr day today. You could have turned blue and died waiting for me to come back and comment :-)

Also, crossing your fingers just introduces more typos so...breathe...relax.

[begin Heidi Klum voice]
You are IN. You may leave the runway.
[end Heidi Klum voice]

You will need to get me a coupon code for this which is valid Sep 30 (make it expire Oct 1 and it will be valid through midnight the 30th and expire at 12:01am Oct 1 - or leave it valid all weekend and get more readers! :-)))

You can either submit the coupon code here on the blog in another comment on or before Thurs Sep 29th 1700 hrs Eastern Time *OR* since I know you're following me on Twitter you should be able to just DM me the code, right? Your choice. Just be sure I get the coupon code or I cannot include you. Assuming I do, you'll be #2, right after Sara Collins (@buttaflii)'s Samsara (which previously ran here on the blog July 29th and keeps coming up in the "You might also like..." suggested links for Freebie Fridays)

Paul Fenton said...

Excellent ... thanks Heidi! I came across a "Best German Things" book at work the other day, and Heidi Klum was in there. So were Haribo gummi bears, so maybe not such a big deal. Coupon code has been tweeted.

Webbiegrrl Writer said...

And coupon code has been received ^_^

Just one spot left now for the Sep 30 feature.