I'll reply with a comment using my Heidi Klum voice (like from Project Runway, You are IN. You may leave the runway.") I'll review your submission, test-click your link and then post a comment. Until you get that reply, you are not yet "in," so be sure to tick the box to subscribe to the comments and you'll be notified when I reply
Sounds great! How do I join?
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.
Click through the jump break for detailed instructions on submitting your free read to be featured.
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. Alternatively, you can just generate a coupon on Thursday (make it expire on Saturday or later) and post the code in a new comment by 1700 hrs Eastern Time Thursday.
Your book must be a completed work (no WIPs, "teasers" or partials please). You must be the copyright owner to submit it. I'll accept any length story (book or short story) so long as it is a complete story and it can be in any genre of fiction or poetry and I even welcome non-fiction. I'll read your description and/or sample, and I reserve the right to edit my presentation of your book to accurately describe its genre or categorization. I also reserve the right to edit your description to adapt it to a more "sales copy" style. 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." It's really not that hard, I promise!
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:
- your book's title and your author/pen name
- your book's genre and approximate word count
- a URL to the book's page (please test it to be sure it works!)
- Your book cover image location. 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 for which you do not have the copyrights.
- 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.
If you post multiple links in one comment, and they're clickable, you'll be considered to be spamming me. If Blogger doesn't filter you, I will. One book, one comment. Easy enough, right?
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?
The Twitter RT chain seems to really help drive higher traffic levels, more than any other marketing method I've been using so it's probably a good idea for you to get onto Twitter now if you're not already.
How else does this get exposure?
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.
Personally, I try to post the blog link to as many 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.
Twitter + Tweeting protocols
Around 10am Eastern Time/USA, Networked blogs will pull the feed and auto-tweet the post. That posts it to my Facebook Fan Page and tweets through to @webbiegrrl. I try to do a manual tweet with better wording and an (ow.ly) link. Please RT.
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 not only your own but all of the webbiegrrl mentions of the free reads on Fridays. Helping to market your co-authors helps to market yourself since it's all going to link to the same blog post where your book is featured. Collective power only works when the Collective works together. About 45-50% of the traffic to the blog comes from Twitter'ed links (according to Hootsuite's ow.ly report anyway).
Also try to do a little advance promo. Tweet a day or two ahead of time and mention the fact you're going to be featured--give your Tweeps advance notice by doing a #WorthWatching Wednesday and ask your followers to help you out by RT'ing the blog link tweets on Friday. If you tell people ahead of time to watch for it, more people respond. Plus if you @mention me on #WW I'll be sure to RT that and get the tweet even more exposure -- in advance. Everytime someone hits RT on any of it, everyone featured gets a new mention on Twitter with everyone else's followers. It's exponential marketing power. That's why they call it viral. Use it.
Other Social Media Blasts
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. I think about 30% of the traffic to the blog on Fridays comes from Goodreads.
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)
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!