What is Audio Book Crave?
Audiobookcrave.com connects audiobook listeners to authors, narrators and publishers of audiobooks and distributes their free promotional codes. Emails are sent out to listeners every Monday and Friday with new audiobook release information as well as posted on Audiobookcraves Facebook and Social Media Accounts.
How is Audio Book Crave Different?
What sets Audiobookcrave.com
apart from some of the other platforms is that you can easily add more free promotional codes at any time. Plus, and this is a big feature, you are connected to your listeners, so you know who is receiving your codes and they allow you to contact them. Additionally, if you run out of codes, your listeners are waitlisted and emailed the moment you upload new codes. There are reporting features to allow you to see how many codes have been claimed (so you can reconcile with ACX) and plenty more features!
How Much Does Audio Book Crave Cost?
The cost per audiobook is $15, but you can save $5 by using the coupon code HOPESAVE5.
supports ACX (Audible and iTunes), but there are plans to support the other platforms.
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5 Tips to Beat Writer’s Block and Find the Joy in Writing Again
I think as writers, we’ve all been there. We’ve all hit that burnout phase, better and more horrifically known as Writer’s Block. It’s the bane of every writer’s existence. We strive to make art…and then, one day, for no reason at all, we can’t make anymore. Maybe it lasts for a day, maybe it lasts for a month. Maybe it lasts for a year. But for however long it lasts, to not be able to do the thing we were meant to do is absolutely soul-crushing.
How do we beat it? How do we refuse to let it get the best of us?
Here, I offer 5 tips that have proven effective for me in cases of mild to severe writer’s block. I hope they help anyone dealing with it, too.
Tip 1: TAKE A BREAK.
Now, this seems like a “No sh*t, Sherlock” statement. Isn’t writer’s block essentially a FORCED break? Yes and no. Reframe the block in your mind. It’s not that you cannot create. It’s just that your mind is telling you it’s tired. It needs rest. If you have the urge to write, but are having trouble focusing, and you spend your designated writing time staring at that little blinking cursor on your screen, that could be your mind begging you to give it some reprieve. So, what do you do? You draw a big X through the production day on your calendar, and you take a break. For the whole day. No writing. What to do instead? Read a book you’ve been dying to start. Read a magazine with a glass of wine or maybe some coffee or even a refreshing cup of tea. Take the furbabies for a walk. Relax in the bathtub, then put on some movies, or catch up on that new Netflix show that’s been on your radar. No matter what you choose, make it relaxing and soothing to your mind with as low cognitive load as possible. If the next day you’re still having trouble focusing, repeat until you feel refreshed to start writing again.
Tip 2: EXERCISE.
Sometimes, we spend hours at our computer, trying to pound out the words to meet deadlines and stay on track. We’re demanding a lot from our bodies by being sedentary for such long periods. Exercise is a wonderful thing. Not only is it good for our bodies, but it’s good for our minds too. Whatever exercise looks like for you—whether that’s a fifteen-minute stroll with your dog or on the treadmill, dancing for twenty minutes in your bedroom, running a couple miles, or a grueling, hour-long MMA workout or weight-lifting session, make it a regular part of your week. Start with one or two days a week, then work up to four or five. You might be surprised at the mental clarity you have each day when you return to your computer. Want bonus points? Every hour, get up and stretch and move your legs a little around the house. Or, every thousand words, do ten jumping jacks or crunches. Make sure you’re giving back to your body so it continues to fuel your mind.
Tip 3: SLEEP.
This might seem counterproductive, but sometimes, sleep is the very best thing you can give your body and your mind. Did you know that the vast majority of Americans are chronically sleep-deprived? You’ve heard that statistic a thousand times—we’re supposed to get 7-9 hours of sleep every night. Raise your hand if you hardly ever hit this range. I know my hand is up. But I’ve discovered from serious firsthand experience what a chronic lack of sleep does to me, and it’s not pretty. Like exercise, this is a habit that needs time to build up. Start shooting for one extra hour from where you currently are. If you get four hours a night now, go to bed one hour earlier, no excuses. Build from there until you hit 7 hours. Then shoot for eight. Then shoot for nine, just to finetune the right number of hours for you. And no, lying in bed scrolling Facebook or playing games for an hour before bed is NOT sleeping.
Tip 4: DRINK WATER.
Yeah, this one will send you running to the bathroom every hour, but hey! In Tip 2, I told you to move your legs every hour, right? Like sleep, most people are chronically dehydrated. This affects in a number of really awful ways, from our mood to the way our organs function to our skin and hair. Earlier this year, I made a conscious decision and effort to drink a minimum of 75 ounces of water a day. A gallon is better. This sounds like a lot of water, and it is. But you know what? In days of practicing this, I noticed some crazy things. My skin, suffering from hormonal acne breakouts for the better part of a year, started to clear. My hair, which had been thinning and brittle, started to become a little more lush and then, after a while, it grew like crazy. I had more energy, I had better mental focus, and my mood even stabilized. Water is a beautiful thing, and our bodies NEED IT TO THRIVE. So drink up!
Tip 5: CLEAR THE COBWEBS.
Sometimes our brains become like attics, where dust and debris and other crap just builds up until there’s no more room for anything else—like the effort we want to put forth in our WIP. That doesn’t mean we don’t want to write—we just can’t write the current project we’re working on. So, just for a day or two, or even an hour here and there where you need it, clear out the mental attic. Freewrite for a while, even if it’s nonsense. Work on that short story you’ve had on your mind that’s totally different from your WIP. Write a blog post. Write a poem. Outline another novel you’ve had bouncing around in your mind. Flex those creative muscles in a different way and sweep the cobwebs out, then go back to your WIP with a fresh, clean space in your mental attic.
I hope these tips help!
For more information like this, or if you just wanna chat, please drop me a line at mazzyking.com or visit me on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter at @mazzykingwrites.
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(This post contains affiliate links. All that means is that I receive a small commission, at no cost to you, if you make a purchase using the link.)
My Take on the 7 Kindle Keywords
Ok, so I’ll admit it, when Kindlepreneur released the article, 7 KINDLE KEYWORDS: USE ALL 50 CHARACTERS OR NOT?, it sort of blew me out of the water. (If you haven’t read the article yet, read it now. None of the below will make sense without it)
I don’t like change. I mean, really don’t like change. I had this strategy that I’ve used to get keywords and it was really working for me.
But I figured since I’ve been singing their praises for so long, I knew they wouldn’t lead me wrong. So, I incorporated their new keyword strategy with my last two releases and these are my results.
Just a little back information, I have used this strategy to get my keywords in the past.
For the last two releases, Ford (released October 16th) and Cooper (released October 23rd) I used the strategy that I have always used for three of the keyword boxes and then for boxes 4-7 I filled them in with words that best describes my book (as explained in the article 7 KINDLE KEYWORDS: USE ALL 50 CHARACTERS OR NOT?).
Here’s my sales graph from Amazon for October 16 – October 27
Here’s my KU Borrows from Amazon for October 16 – October 27
So, I am not a scientific person. You’re not going to get a bunch of percentages, pie charts, or anything else from me. LOL. When I look at this and also look at my income, I do see a steady rise from the first week to the second. Does everyone else have a midweek slump? Every one of my weeks slump in the middle, usually around Tues – Thurs. But even my KU slumps are ‘higher’ than the week before.
Also, when I compare first seven days of the two books, Ford and Cooper, to the first seven days of Abby (released the week before with my old way of doing keywords), I experienced 2-4k more KU reads per day on the two new books.
Now, there are many factors to consider with this. Time of month, time of year, etc. One of them being, these two books were book 3 and 4 of a series. I do great with series. However, I did look at one of my old series to see if there was a jump like this and there was not one.
Also, I had my highest day EVER on October 27th. Coincidence? Maybe.
However, I have seen a steady climb since I changed my keyword strategy so I’m pretty sure I’m going to keep testing it out.
So, here are some questions I’ve had:
For the boxes that you ‘word stuff’ do you need to check the competition score for these word or phrases?
No. You don’t need to check the competition score for the boxes 4-7. (I do check the competition score for boxes 1-3). However, I do check to see the number of searches on Rocket to make sure that they do have a search volume.
When thinking of search terms, I would want to focus on short story romance, not just short story. And I don’t think people would just type in alpha man – they would type in alpha man romance. So, my question – would I need to use romance in each box – or only one box? If I just have romance in the first box, would Amazon use it when using the 2nd box keywords. Or do the keywords not cross between boxes?
I had to get help on this one. I emailed Kindlepreneur and there is not any testing done on whether or not Amazon will combine terms in different boxes.
So I would recommend that if alpha man romance has a high search volume, and even if it has a high competition score, I would still use this term in my “stuffed” boxes. And as the article states, you are not penalized for using a term more than once. Therefore, when I do my “stuffed boxes” I do use a keyword more than once (not in the same box) if I deem it necessary.
Do I really need Publisher Rocket for keywords?
Yes, with this new article, I feel that you need Publisher Rocket more than ever. It is so useful in finding low competition keywords for those first 1-3 boxes. And it is even helpful for the boxes 4-7. I use Rocket to check the search terms for these also.
Plus, it’s been said the less work that Amazon has to do to form a phrase, the better you rank. So even with my last boxes I still put my niche words into Rocket and check some of the phrases to make sure they are in the best possible order I can put them in.
Do you work for Kindlepreneur?
LOL. No I do not. I have never worked for them or even met anyone that does. (I do email them a lot though). I just truly believe in Publisher Rocket. I am, however, an affiliate for Publisher Rocket. All that means is that I receive a small commission, at no cost to you, if you make a purchase using the link. Any post I make has this declaration at the top of it, if it has affiliate links on it.
Plus, I hope by now, y’all realize that I would not “push” something that I truly didn’t believe in.
Did This Help You?
I hope this helped you. If you have questions you are more than welcome to ask me, but also Kindlepreneur. Their customer service is EXCELLENT!
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I am on the mailing list for Alessandra Torre and she sent out a super helpful email last week. I wanted to make sure you get access to what she shared. (Let me go ahead and say here, I am not an affiliate for Inkers Con or Alessandra Torre. I just really enjoy all of the the information she shares)
Lately, I have been looking for ways to be more productive on my Instagram Profile. Well, when I got this email from her I knew it was good stuff and had to share it.
There is a video and a downloadable cheat sheet. Here is the link: Alessandra Torre’s 5 IG Hacks
She teaches you how to:
- Quiz your readers
- Use your desktop
- Post text-only story posts
- Create Peekaboo Images that tease readers with future covers, WIPs or teasers.
- Use the Creator Profile
Plus the *bonus* hack: Using the countdown timer!
While you’re on her site, you may want to check out her Inkers Con Conference. I attended the digital conference last year and it was awesome. I have learned so much and having it in digital format has been really nice because I’m able to rewatch the videos.
Some of the things I learned were:
- Marketing Strategies for KU
- Everything about Goodreads
- How to have a successful backlist
- and my favorite, Newsletter Success
How do you use Instagram?
Do you have some hacks on using Instagram? Please comment below!
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Take 4 – Answers to Your Questions
Today I’m answering more questions I received.
How do you balance your family life and writing life?
Well, I am very fortunate that I now write full time. It makes it a lot easier to balance my family life and my writing life. I write when my kids are at school or practice and my husband is at work. It also helps that my kids are teenagers.
When I worked a full time job, it was really hard for me to focus on writing. My family comes first. Then I was working full time. Then I was writing. I wrote mostly in the early mornings or in the evenings. And I will be honest with you, it was hard to balance. I would be writing in the evenings instead of spending a lot of time with my kids. However, they understood. I think there’s phases where if you are building something, no matter what kind of business, you have to put the work in. And sometimes that takes away from family life. However, I made a point that if I was spending time with my kids, I was 100% committed to it. No phones, no emails. I just hung out with them. I think if you want something, there has to be a little give and take.
I noticed several of your books from early 2018 are in Erotica. Were they always? Do you think that helped your visibility? Most authors complain about the ‘Erotica dungeon’, but you catapulted to success so quickly, it seems contrary to what everyone else says.
Yes. The books that are still in erotica have always been there. They are there because of keywords I used or words I used in the title. I am going to tell you my thoughts on my ‘erotica’ books and my opinions on it, but please remember it may not be the same for everyone.
I’m going to use my book, Mine: Alpha Male, Virgin Female Steamy Sweet Romance, as an example. It is in the erotica category. It is in the erotica category because of the subtitle of the book. Which I could probably fix, I just haven’t yet. However, it is also one of my lowest performing books.
So here’s where we get to my opinion. I believe this book does not perform as well because it is in the erotica category but does not have erotica content. There are some sex scenes in the story, but primarily it is a love story. I’m sure if people are looking for an erotic book, they would be disappointed with this book.
So, in my opinion I do not feel that it helped catapult my writing. However, that’s just me though. It may be different for someone else.
Is having a blog or a Facebook page really needed for authors? Doesn’t it kind of cut into writing time?
I do not keep up with my author blog. It’s a goal of mine. But I haven’t done really well with it.
I do recommend a Facebook Page, or even better a Facebook Group. I wrote more on this last week – Check it out here: Answers to your questions Take 3
So, you have two options really.
1- If you have time to write (first priority), then start a FB page or Group and post when you can.
2 – If you don’t have time to write and it stresses you out to add a FB Page or Group, then wait on it. Writing is the most important aspect of all this.
If you were not making any money at all, would you still write and publish your stories?
Good question. I wish I could say ‘absolutely.’ But that’s not realistic. I love to write, share my stories, and get to know my readers. If I was not making money, then I assume I would not have any readers either. They are sort of what keeps me going. They motivate me like nothing else. 🙂 So even though I want to say yes, I would still write. I can’t.
What is the biggest mistake you have made since you started your publishing journey?
Probably my biggest mistake is putting my book up with the wrong title. I put a second book in a series up with the first books title. You want to talk about stressed out. I worried myself to death about it. Since it was in review, Amazon couldn’t help. They told me I would have to wait to fix it until it was either Live or not approved to publish and put back in draft. I hoped they would just not approve it, but they did. It was pretty anticlimactic though. It went live. I immediately fixed it and then didn’t promote it until it was live again.
At the time, this was a huge deal to me and I was so upset. Now, I realize it really wasn’t. I’ve learned to pay better attention when posting a book and also to not stress the small stuff.
Have you ever considered writing in a different genre besides Romance? What would it be?
I have considered writing some more nonfiction.
However, for fiction, I will probably only write romance. That’s all I read, so it makes sense I would stick with that.
Thank you for all the questions. If you have one you would like to ask, please click HERE and enter it.
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Interview with Autum Remington
Tell me about you and your books (how many books you’ve written, when did you start, what type of books, etc.)
We are a set of best friends that were at lunch one day talking about the book slump we were in and jokingly mentioned writing a book. The idea grew from there and six months in we have two books out and many more to hopefully come. We are everyday people with jobs, husbands and kids who have taken a passion for reading and turned it into writing. We currently have two published books with one going to edits for a collaboration we have done and the third in our series half done. We write romance, insta-love, and suspense.
How do you come up with your ideas for your books?
We write as dual authors so sometimes one of us goes up to the other and are like “I had a dream about…” we are really great at flowing together so one might come up with the idea but the other throws in ideas to keep it flowing. We definitely work great as a team What are your tips for choosing a cover? Find a designer that you trust and work well with. There are times our designer sent us something and it just looked off. It may have been the characters or the color didn’t match what we had in mind for the characters. We would discuss it with our designer and not once was she impatient or mean about it. She tried different things until we loved it. I guess one piece of advice we would be don’t settle, that could mean with color, characters, or designers. Just don’t settle.
How do you deal with writer’s block?
With there being two of us we got really lucky when it comes to writers block because if one partner has it the other can just pick up where we left off and it makes more idea’s come together. However, we have had instances where we both seemed to be blocked. The way we dealt with that was just hanging out and talking through the book together. Sometimes just getting it out of your head and saying it aloud helps clear the fog.
Do you write to market? Why or why not?
We are Insta-Love authors at heart through and through we also tend to write safe romances. We just love the fairytale of insta-love. We still write suspense in our books but most of the time it’s not about there being issues within the relationship. What are five things you do to market your book, after you hit publish?
It took us a minute to figure this out. We first posted on Facebook and Instagram. Posting in other author groups. We saw a slump in sales until we started running Facebook ads.
That is about all we do right now being so new. The best thing I could say if find you an amazing group of authors who support each other. These authors have been out biggest “advertisers”. What do you do if a book is just not selling?
We have only released two books and both have done really well.
What advice would you give a brand new author, just starting out?
If you have an idea just put it on paper. It can be intimidating and daunting at times but if you truly want to write a story just go for it. Find you people who will support you 100% whether that’s other authors or family. We were lucky we have a group of authors who took us under their wing and helped us make our dreams come true. If you need that kind of support team, Autum Remington, would gladly be that support for you. How do you deal with negative reviews? Block them out as best as you can. Authors put a piece of their heart and soul in every book they write but there is always going to be someone who doesn’t like it. There will always be a person who hates suspense or insta-love. You can’t make everyone happy but it still hurts reading bad reviews. Just try to block it out as best you can and don’t let it affect your work. Don’t change your work just because a bad review. Write whats in your head and heart.
How do you build relationships with your readers?
We try to be very active on our facebook groups and also when people message us with advice or praise for our work. We keep a level head and try to give our readers an insight to our crazy lives. How do you build relationships with other authors?
We’ve gotten so lucky in finding some amazing authors to help us with this journey. Mutual respect for each other along with showing them the same support the have shown you. We are all just trying to make our dream happen. Talk to them, share their books and show your support. This community is a strong one we are privileged to be a part of.
What are your plans for future books?
So far we are finished with a collaboration we did with a few other authors. We are halfway through our third Hound Search & Rescue team book and we hope to have around five more. We also want to do a couple spin-offs but nothing concrete at the moment.
Is there any other advice you would like to give?
Go for it. Don’t let anything hold you back if this is a dream that you want to pursue. Even if you write the story you have in your head and never try and publish it just put it on paper. I promise there is someone out there that will love it!
Do you want to learn more about Autum Remington?
Find Autum Remington at the Links Below:
Get the first book of the Hound Search and Rescue Series, Handling What’s Mine Now!
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