Tuesday, June 5, 2012

What's Your Answer? Questions About Blogs and E-Books

It used to be that authors wrote a book, sent to it their publishers and that was that. The publishers got the books printed, sent them in for reviews, did the publicity, and so forth. Often authors bought bookmarks and set up book signings, unless they were lucky enough to get live book tours and publicity packages arranged by their publishers' publicists. After that, authors could concentrate on getting another book ready.

Today's publishing world has dramatically changed. Many authors publish their own books, instead of relying on publishers to perform that chore. Those who self-publish work hard to get themselves known. Even those that don't self-publish are told by their publishers to get online and get noticed.

There are many ways to do so, but I'll mention just a few. As in the past, I'll ask three questions and offer my answers. Then it's your turn. As usual, if you answer one question, you're encouraged to expand on that answer. Otherwise, keep your answers short. Also, only one link to a blogspot or website, please.


Q: Do you have any blogs?
A: I have too many, probably. The ones I use the most are:
Double M, my personal blog, Make Mine Mystery, a group mystery writers' blog, Sweet Not Spicy, a host blog for sweet fiction authors, Acme Authors Link, a romance and mystery writers' group blog, Spunky Senior Authors and Talents, a host blog for those over 50, and The Blood-Red Pencil, this group blog. I also use Morgan's Book Links as a reference blog featuring my books.

Q:Have you ever been on a blog book tour?
A: I'm on a blog book tour which kicked off on June 4 for Corner Cafe, A Tasty Collection of Short Stories. My post is scheduled for June 14 on Helen Ginger's blog. I've also been on tours for my full length books: Two Wrongs, Girl of My Dreams, Killer Career and Forever Young: Blessing or Curse. The schedule for Forever Young is still posted in the sidebar at Double M.

Q:Have you ever formatted your own e-book, or had someone format one for you?
A: I had someone format Killer Career on Kindle, but did the Smashwords formatting myself. That was while my first two books, Two Wrongs and Girl of My Dreams were under a publishing contract. I then requested and received my rights back for those two books and set them up myself on Kindle and Smashwords. Surprisingly, Kindle wasn't as difficult as I thought it would be. I also formatted Forever Young: Blessing or Curse for Kindle and Smashwords.

The more times you do it, the easier it becomes, but it does help to keep notes on what you do.

Now it's your turn. Please answer one or more of the above questions.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Morgan Mandel is a former President of Chicago-North RWA, the prior Library Liaison for Midwest MWA, belongs to EPIC & Sisters in Crime.
Her contributions to the Corner Cafe, A Tasty Collection of Short Stories are: The Closing of the Corner Cafe and What Nice Blessings.

Click http://morgansbooklinks.blogspot.com/ for Excerpts and Buy Links to all four of her full length novels.

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21 comments :

  1. I'm a blog tour veteran now. I set up my own and have hired help to get it done also. As far as formatting ebooks, I do that too and have sent it to our distribution company to do it. Even though our distributor sent it out to many places we still had to set up distribution in various ebooks sites for ourselves.

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  2. Good luck with the blog tour and with The Corner Cafe! And i'm going to send you a note to your email.

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  3. My blog chronicles the exploits of a socially awkward dude. Check out today's entry ... I'm buyin'! http://essenceofperformance.blogspot.com/

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  4. Yes to all three. I actually published first in blog format, and I certainly do think blogging is a form of publishing. Since I teach authors about blog book tours... well, a no-brainer how I feel about those. Finally, I just formatted the Corner Cafe Kindle book we're now promoting via bbt and I'm writing A Quick Blog Book Tour Guide this month to add to Amazon. So exciting, especially since I can compare all this to the "old days" 30 years ago when I was submitting mss. by mail and working as a gift rep for Random House and its imprints. Such wonderful and dramatic change! Such a grand time for authors to be writing!

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  5. I've been blogging about writing, ghostwriting and editing since 2006 on my blog Thoughts from the Compost, http://www.primary-sources.com/blog/ . Never been on a blog tour yet, but it's in my 2012 plan. With help from my Author's Assitant I formatted three short story collections for Kindle. They're selling!

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  6. I have two blogs; one semi-current and one defunct. Vitae interruptus and all that. The Corner Cafe project might be the push I need to get moving again.

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  7. I have a blog now that I use to document writing books for charitable causes -http://writeforthecause.blogspot.com/. I've never been on a blog book tour or formatted an e-book, but hopefully someday!

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  8. Morgan, you're a trail blazer for the rest of us. You're also someone to follow. I put my book, Angel Sometimes, up on Amazon, but had been hesitating tackling Smashwords. Guess I'll have to follow your trail.

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  9. BTW, the free Amazon pdf "Building Your Book for Kindle" is really quite good and makes it a manageable first e-book project for anyone who can read and uses MS Word. I highly recommend you download it.

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  10. Helen, Marian Allen is going to teach the BBT Cafe gang how to format for Smashwords. That will happen mid-summer and we'll put Corner Cafe up on the other e-book platforms in September. You might want to join that class.

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  11. I enjoy blogging and also visiting other blogs, only wish I had more time in the day to do it! Blog book tours are fun, but yes, very wearing.

    There's a certain satisfaction to be had from tackling such projects as formatting for Kindle and Smashwords, and conquering the process!

    Morgan Mandel
    http://morganmandel.blogspot.com

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  12. I do a solo blog and a group blog (http://travelswithkaye.blogspot.com/ and http://allthingswriting.blogspot.com/) and I've formatted all of my ebooks. I'm about to do another. I published my notes on this in case other writers would want them. The 99cent booklet is called The Road to Self-Publishing.

    I guess I've done blog tours, but haven't called them that. I've just tried to blog as much as possible when something is coming out.

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  13. I have my own blog and then participate on another with 7 other romance writers. I've learned so much from being with others who have way more experience.

    Did the A-Z blog tour and highly recommend it for any who have not tried it (April). Met some wonderful people from all over the planet.

    Sometimes group blogs can become toxic, and I've had that happen too, but just moved on. I think it goes with the territory. People's needs change (as well as their mental condition, LOL).

    I hire the formatting. I just can't figure it out after 4 books. Maybe some day...

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  14. I have a blog, <a href="http://terryodell.com/terrysplace>Terry's Place </a>

    I've done guest blog posts, but never an official "tour" as most of the blogs I frequent are all in the same basic circle, and there's not much point in hitting the same people over and over. (Per agents and editors I've heard: unless you know you're hitting a wide variety of readers, blog tours don't do much good.)

    I've formatted all my books for Amazon, Kindle & Smashwords. It's a learning curve that's ever-changing, but when I started, I had no money to pay someone, and now that I might be able to afford it, I've learned how to do it, so why not?

    Terry

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  15. I have blogs, am the editor for another publishers blog, and am working on an e-book. Have not formatted it yet and am procrastinating but want to get it out there. Traditional publishing is certainly the slow route unless you are a celeb.

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  16. My blog is the first page of my website, www.fionamcgier.com. I also do a regular blog on the 16th of the month at www.sweetnsexydivas.blogspot.com, which is a group of romance writers who try to amuse and inform readers while we comment on anything and everything.

    I've done a couple of blog tours and like them. I also formatted one book to offer for free on Smashwords.com, to try to interest readers in the rest of the series. It was not hard to do, but tedious and involved. I may do it again.

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  17. Actually, Terry, there are two ways to look at blog book tours. 1. to open new human readership on blogs other than your own and 2. to post on ANY high ranking blogs day-after-day to get Google attention. The key aspect of a blog book tour is to create "noise" around certain key words day-after-day. So people who believe posting on the same genre blogs for a blog book tour doesn't do much good, are basically incorrect in their logic. Whenever your reach goes beyond your own tribe, you reach new readers. I'll cover more of that in my Quick Blog Book Tour Guide coming to Kindle soon. As far as formatting your own e-books - having done it once now, I feel confident enough to save the money and do my own again. I love that it's so easy to edit after publication!

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  18. I have so many blogs I've stopped counting. I've been on multiple book tours and I have also coordinated my fair share for others. I haven't formatted an ebook yet, but it's coming eventually.

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  19. I guest blog quite often and also do a once a month blog for Author Expressions which is for Five Star/Gale authors. I'm just finishing a blog tour today at Terri Bruce's blog:

    http://www.terribruce.net/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=152:interview-with-jacqueline-seewald&catid=49:author-interviews&Itemid=95

    Drop by!

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  20. Like so many, I have a blog (www.apenandfire.com) but I also have a Live Journal.

    The LJ is set to private. The problem I run into is that many of the LJ posts don't make it to the main blog because I don't want the general public to know, or because I don't think they will care. *laughs* I'm working on creating a balance. I think we owe it to each other to tell stories of our lives because sometimes that may be what someone needs to hear...

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  21. It looks like we're all into blogging. Not surprising, since you've commented on a blog!

    Dani Greer's Quick Blog Book Tour Guide should come in handy to guide us along. There's always something to learn, no matter if you've done something more than once or never at all.

    Morgan Mandel
    http://morganmandel.blogspot.com

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The Blood-Red Pencil is a blog focusing on editing and writing advice. Some of our contributors are editors, some are authors, and some are writing sheep. Yes, sheep.

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