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What I Have Learned From Kindlepreneur
If you have read my blog at all, you know that I love Kindlepreneur. Any time I start researching how to do something, I start with Kindlepreneur.
Here are just some of the things I have learned how to do:
-how to find the best keywords
-social media for authors
-make your book blurb look good
-and how to do AMS ads
Who Will This Help
If you are a new author, this post will definitely be beneficial to you. Heck, if you are an experienced author, you may still learn something. I am going to share with you all of my favorite posts, a link to go directly to it and what you can learn from each one.
How To Find The Best Keywords
This article, Fiction Keyword Strategy, tells you exactly how to research the best keywords for your book. It gives you two options to finding your keywords. One option is to purchase Publisher Rocket, which I highly recommend. This is, by far, the best purchase I have made. It is simple to use and their customer service is excellent. I have asked so many questions!
However, if you are not ready to purchase the program yet, the article also tells you how to find keywords manually.
Social Media For Authors
This article, The Ultimate Guide to Social Media for Writers 2019, gives you a brief overview of mastering social media. It then goes on to break down each social media platform with examples of authors who use it effectively.
The article also gives you links to do more research and learn different ways to make your social platform excel! Do you want to know how many platforms you should pick? Read the article!
Amazon Sales Rank Calculator
Kindlepreneur has an Amazon Sales Rank Calculator. This calculator helps you understand the correlation between a books sales rank and how many of those ebooks are sold in a day.
Add More Categories To Your Books
When you upload your book, you get to pick two categories. Do you want your book to be listed in more categories? This video, How To Add More Categories To Your Book, will show you how to do it.
Make Your Book Blurbs Stand Out More
Have you ever been on Amazon and seen a book with a blurb that has words in bold, or the font is bigger and stands out? This tool, Amazon Book Description Generator, will help you do that!
Amazon Book Ads
Do you want to know how to do Amazon Ads? This is a FREE course!
Top Free and Paid Book Promotion Sites
This article gives you all the names and links to the TOP FREE AND PAID BOOK PROMOTION SITES. There are over 127 sites listed and and easy search function. Check it out!
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How I Found My Editor
In the beginning, I published without sending my books to an editor. And I have the reviews to prove it. LOL!
After some really hurtful comments and reviews, I decided to hire an editor.
I contacted two. I found them by looking at the books of authors I like to read.
One that I approached asked for a 1,000 words to sample edit. However, when I got the draft back she had tried to change a lot of my story and the way I write.
Another editor, Kasi Alexander, I contacted is an editor for Jenika Snow. She is one of my favorite authors and I one click all of her books.
Kasi offered to do a sample edit. She was very thorough and we hit it off from the very beginning. She has not only helped me to improve my writing, she has also helped me be more confident when I hit PUBLISH! She is quick, efficient, communication is excellent, and I hardly every have a bad review for typos or errors now. She has been a HUGE help to me.
Since I’ve started helping new authors with their writing career, I get questions all the time either about how to contact my editor or how to find an editor. I wanted to write this blog post to help other authors that are searching for an editor, but wasn’t sure exactly what they were looking for or how to go about it.
I decided to interview my editor, Kasi Alexander, to help answer any questions you may have.
Interview with Kasi Alexander, Editor:
Tell me a little about yourself and your experience as an editor.
I’ve been editing professionally for about seven years now. Before that I was a secretary for a long time. I left that job to focus on my own writing (my writing partner and I have published ten romance novels) and also our small family chainmail business (www.valkyriedesignllc.com). We traveled the country for over two years selling our chainmail jewelry and costuming, but when our RV died and my partner took some time off to donate a kidney to his father, we settled just north of New Orleans and I started focusing more on editing to pay the bills. It’s grown very nicely and I’ve had a lot of fun with it.
What do you like about working with authors?
I love helping authors make their writing as smooth and professional as possible. Everyone I’ve worked with has been super nice and I’ve loved getting to know them and watching them grow and perfect their craft. I love the fact that I can work anywhere, and, of course, getting to read all day is nice too!
Who do you edit for?
I’ve edited for Steve Berry, Anne Rice, Heather Graham, 1001 Dark Nights, Hope Ford, Jenika Snow, Erika Reed, Elle Good, and quite a few other authors.
What all niches do you edit?
I have edited everything from safe romance to horror. I have a client that writes science fiction and a few that write suspense. I’ve done some academic editing and I do career articles for Indeed.com, as well as proofreading transcribed earnings calls from large corporations. I’m open to pretty much anything.
How did you get started in editing?
I was a secretary for a long (long!) time. During that time I designed and proofread a lot of materials. At some point I decided I needed to get comfortable speaking in public so I designed a professional writing course for our local night school (Colorado Free University). I discovered that I’m one of those strange people that love researching language oddities and being able to explain obscure points of grammar. Around then my writing partner and I started putting out books and I discovered how much I love the editing process. So I started looking for editing clients and it just built from there.
How do you suggest an author find an editor?
Ask around, especially other authors whose books you enjoy. Another option (if you don’t mind sorting through tons of applications) is Upwork.com or freelancing sites like that–but make sure you get a sample edit. You have NO idea what you’re dealing with there. Editors have a HUGE range of prices, as well as very different skills and specialties. Keep in mind what level of editing you want. It helps to know what areas you need help with, what your readers mention most frequently, and what you personally would like to change. A good editor could help with all of that.
When you are looking for an editor, what questions should you ask potential candidates?
What do you charge? I find a per word cost to be the most helpful. That way everybody knows up front what the end price will be, as opposed to per hour, which may not be estimated correctly beforehand. Per page is a little odd because that will depend on page breaks, font size, spacing, etc. Better to avoid potential squabbles about those kinds of things.
What is included in that? (Will the editor do a second read after you’ve gone through and made corrections?) Do you just change things or make comments? Do you suggest alternate wording for awkward sentences? For the author: It’s very helpful to know your own preferences there. Are you willing for them to just change things and let you decide whether to accept them or do you prefer that they put bigger changes in comments and let you make the change? Is anything off-limits?
Will you do a short sample edit so we can see if we’d be comfortable working together? About 2000-3000 words is enough to get a feel for each other’s styles, I think, and isn’t too time-consuming for the editor. If they’re unwilling to do that, they’re probably going to be a pain in the ass about other things too.
Can I contact a few of your other clients? If so, ask about reliability and meeting deadlines, as well as the obvious – whether you’ve (or readers have) found things they missed. Of course there will be the occasional mistake but there shouldn’t be more than 3 or so typos per book when they’re done.
What is your time frame? This is hard to judge and varies wildly between editors. I personally would not hire an editor that wouldn’t commit to 4 weeks or less for a first round. There’s no reason for that kind of delay, in my opinion.
How do you know if you picked the right editor for YOU?
The most important thing is that the editor is respectful and you have a good rapport. As an editor, I can tell you that it’s tempting sometimes to make smartass comments about mistakes or inconsistencies or oddly worded sentences. As an author, I can also tell you that I know how offensive or hurtful those can sometimes be. Find an editor that resists the urge to make snarky comments and is willing to discuss or explain points that you don’t understand. You have to be comfortable asking for clarification and they have to be able to explain their suggestions or changes without either one of you becoming offended or defensive. They also have to be flexible and respectful of the level of editing you want. It’s your book, after all. If you only want typos, punctuation and glaring errors corrected, that’s your prerogative. If you’d like to have them point out problems with style, voice, point of view, pacing, and flow, let them know up front. You don’t have to take their suggestions, but it’ll save everyone time if expectations are clear from the beginning.
What all does an editor do?
The main reason to have an editor is to point out things that could turn off readers. No author likes getting reviews that point out their typos, grammar mistakes, or plot inconsistencies, and any editor should be able to catch those. Beyond that, the point of an editor is to make sure that the book reads smoothly and the reader isn’t distracted by things that pull them out of the story. It’s an odd comparison, but in “A Chorus Line,” Michael Douglass (I think?) said, “Don’t pull my focus.” That’s what an editor does – allows the reader to stay engrossed in the story without being distracted by minutiae. That said, it’s your book and your writing style, and if the editor points out something that isn’t “technically” correct, if you’re self-pubbed, it’s always your choice to accept or reject the change. There have been lots of writers that didn’t follow the “rules,” but readers don’t tend to enjoy reading mainstream fiction that has odd spelling, wording, dialects, or accents that are spelled out excessively.
How important is it to have a sample edit done for you?
I think it’s very important. You want to know if the editor can respect your style while catching the small things that you miss (since you’re more likely reading with the big picture in mind). I recommend putting in some intentional mistakes and going through it to see if they caught them all (including at least one change in name or place spelling or hair color, and one stupid mistake so you can see how they deal with it). Definitely ask questions about suggestions they make that you don’t understand. If they’re changing a lot of things that don’t make sense to you or sound overly picky, they could simply be too heavy-handed for you. Fiction has a lot of leeway and you’re completely entitled to write in your own style. If you aren’t sure, send the sample to another author (or a beta reader or another editor) and get an opinion. When you start working with an editor, pay attention to comments or reviews to see if they change. That should give you an idea if your money is being spent wisely.
Thank you Kasi for taking the time to answer all of our questions!
Readers, do you have a question not answered here? Let me know. Shoot me an email and I will be happy to update with more information.
If you are in need of an editor, you can reach Kasi at firstname.lastname@example.org
As always, thank you for reading!
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Today I want to share with you the time I almost quit writing. First of all, let me tell you, I am a people pleaser! I want everyone to like me and I take it hard when I get a negative review.
This is a review I received June 2018: “Don’t waste your time. It seems like a 10 year old wrote this….at best. What a waste of time. 15 minutes of my life I can’t get back.”
Ugh! I cringe just sharing that with you, but I want to talk about it. This review really got me! It hit hard. So what do you do when you get a review like this? I’ll admit it – I let that one review absolutely control all of my writing. I couldn’t get anything on paper for a full month. I thought – why am I doing this? People don’t like to read my books. I almost quit writing. I almost QUIT! But I’m not a quitter.
Never mind the 20 – 5 Star reviews I received in June and July of 2018. I let that one reviewer get me down.
Now let me tell you, I did use that review to make myself do better! There is always something to learn from the reviews – good and bad.
My point is – which I promise I do have one – don’t let reviews like these stop you from living your dream. I have gotten 20 more bad reviews since then, but I have also received hundreds of 5 Star reviews.
You are not going to be everyone’s cup of tea. If I had stopped writing and given up on this dream, I would not be where I am right now! I’m not even going to lie – this right here made my year guys! I love Debbie Macomber.
(Image from Amazon on 8-5-19)
If I had given up writing, I would not only have given up something that has given me a lot of self fulfillment and extra money for my family that has enabled me to quit my day job – but I would not have ever reached this!
I hope IF you have read this far – you get it! Don’t let anyone stop you from doing what you love to do! It’s in that moment, when you are about to quit, that amazing things begin happening!
I hope this helps you! Please send me an email or comment below!
How Can I Help you? Fill out this form: How Can I Help You?
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Should the Book Be in the Erotica Category?
This is something you should ask yourself when you list your book in Amazon. If it should be, then definitely put it into Erotica. However, sometimes you write a romance book and it gets listed in erotica ‘accidentally.’
How Do I Know If My Book Should Be Listed as Erotica?
Please read my other blog post where I break down the different categories. You can find it HERE!
I was confused when I first started writing. I do write explicit sex scenes and thought the responsible thing to do would be to put it into erotica. However, after further research, I found that my stories are really “vanilla” compared to others that are listed in contemporary romance.
Now, if you are writing hardcore with the intent to stimulate, please put your book in erotica. Especially if you write about incest, forbidden explicit taboos, bestiality or something else along these lines.
If you are writing a love story that has sex in it, you should put it into romance.
How do I avoid the Adult Filter?
You can avoid putting your book “accidentally” in erotica by paying close attention to your cover, keywords and your description. These are all things that they look at when placing a book in a category.
For the cover, avoid using nudity and people in sexual positions.
For Titles, Subtitles, Keywords and Descriptions, use keywords that describe your book, but avoid using keywords that could be considered erotica. The best list of keywords I have seen that break it down for you is HERE! It’s a great resource!
The reasons really vary for why a book is put into the erotica category. I have been told that if you put virgin anywhere on the book, it goes into erotica. However, I have a book called The Billionaire Biker’s Virgin and it is listed in contemporary short stories. So, sometimes I think there is no rhyme or reason of why or how these things happen.
The good thing to know is that if your book does get put into erotica, it is not the end of the world. You can make changes to get it fixed.
How I got my book out of the Erotica Category.
Another author sent me an email asking me to help her get her book out of erotica. This had me start thinking.
My book, My Everything, is one of my favorite books I have ever written. It’s about an injured veteran who gives up on love because of his injury. Well, I’m sure you know how it ends.
But anyway, it was listed in the erotica category and it is my lowest performing book. Which really disappointed me.
So I started working on trying to figure out how to get it out of the adult filter.
In my blurb, I had talked about her innocence and giving him one night. I had thought this might be the problem, so I went into KDP and changed my blurb. Once the updates were live, I then sent an email message to Author Central requesting for them to take another look at my book. I explained that I had made some changes and would like for my book to be removed from the erotica category.
Well, come to find out that was THE sentence that put my book into erotica.
I received an email from Amazon and they let me know, after further review they had decided to remove the search restriction and my book would now be found in their general product search results.
My book was removed from erotica and is now in contemporary short stories and one hour short romance reads.
Do you have any questions?
I hope this helped you understand how to get your book of of erotica if it was “accidentally” placed there. Did I answer all the questions you have on this topic? If not, send me an email, I would love to chat and help!
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