Author Archives: mariminiatt

Need some help, check out Fiverr.

We are all busy. Being a self-published author means, you have to wear all the hats. Writer, editor, artist, promoter, etc. Sometimes you have to get assistance.  I found one place that might help you out.

As NaNoWriMo 2011 was going on, a Doug Lance on G+ was doing book covers for fun. His stuff was really good. After NaNoWriMo he posted that he would make a cover for your book for $5. The link sent me to a site called Fiverr http://fiverr.com.

At this site people offer services or products for $5. There are a lot of helpful services for writers.  Editing, cover creation, electronic formatting, etc. And a few suspect ones, ie. people offering to give you a five star review, without reading your book?

I haven’t used the site yet, I have a few services bookmarked for my next novel.  As with any site, check out the rating of the person that is offering the deal.  Email them to make sure that they are offering exactly what you are looking for. In the case of cover creation, make sure they are using art they have permission to use.

This looks like a helpful site. Not just to find services, but if you have a service to offer, it might be a good way to put a few extra dollars in your pocket.  Although you only get $4, the site keeps $1.

Its not a place to look for full novel editing, but if you are working on a press release, you might find someone else to write it for you.

Has anyone ever used this site? Would you recommend it?

As for the stuff Doug Lance offers, here are the links:

Book Covers: http://fiverr.com/douglance/make-you-a-book-cover

Formatting: http://fiverr.com/douglance/format-your-ebook

Categories: Self-Publishing | Tags: ,

Google+ finally has brand pages!

Very first impressions.

One of the issues that has kept writers away from G+ is their anti-pseudonym rule. They say they will change it, but it has not happened yet.

Tonight they opened up G+ for brands. And there is a way around that rule now.

It took me 2 minutes to set up my page. You can title it anything you want, so if you go by a pen name, you can use that pen name. This might be the answer authors might have been looking for. You can have your personal page, for venting and whatever. But over on your brand page, you can work on selling your stuff. The best part is you can post to your personal page as a link to your brand page.

Confused?

This is how it works. You post something on your brand page, say an update on the book you are working on. Then you click on share this. The link to your brand page will post to your personal page.

From a author view point. I like it. When people see a link to my brand page, they can decide if they want to click on it or not. They don’t see the content only the link to the page.

As a consumer, I like it because if I in the page’s circles, I get the posts directly. If I am in an author’s personal circles too, I won’t see double posts.

One drawback, you have to be a member of G+ to join a brand page.

The general public can still see your posts. But only people that join the brand page, can interact with you.

The pages have only been live for a few minutes as I write this. As the bugs are worked out, I will keep you informed on how well they work.

UPDATE:

Multiple pages! This is great. I have one Author page and two character pages. Like Facebook you have to chose the category (Strange no author one, everyone has been picking “book”.) Fictional characters are a choice.

No verification: Right now Google is taking you at your word that you are setting up the page as member of the business or brand. So this means someone else could set up a brand page with your stuff.  I don’t know if any of us here are big enough to worry about it. But it might be a good idea to “stake a claim” just in case.

Integration with Blogger: Great idea, does not work like I would like it too.  It sends the blogger feed to your personal profile. So if you don’t want to flood your family and friends with your writing blog, you can’t do it automatically. You would have to enter the link manually. Not that big of deal, but it would be nice to pick which page you want which post to go to.

Team Members: One of the circle suggestions is Team members. In my case, once my husband gets his profile up. I can merge him with mine. Since he does the art work, it would be a nice touch.  You could also have a page for a blog with multiple authors. The Team Member circle would allow you to have private conversations with your team from the brand page.

Links: Looks like they are unlimited, so you could put many links up where people could buy your books. I hope later they integrate Google Checkout, that would be a big help for authors. You could sell your books right off the page.

Keep watching it, if you are not sure about using G+ for your author platform. I am gladly being the test subject for the rest of you.

Categories: Author Platform & Branding, Marketing & Promoting | Tags:

Google+ for writers, again.

I have been on G+ more than Facebook or Twitter now. As a selling platform, not that good. But as a networking and collaborative platform, amazing.

It can sure seem like that when you first start up.

First thing I want to share is make sure people can find you and circle you. The nice thing about filling out your Google profile (and you better, because it is necessary for G+) is that you can private and share what you want. Under occupation, set it to everyone. Then put in there how you want to be viewed. Why? Because if you name comes up in a stream and I want to find out about you, the first thing I do is hover over your name.

A little bubble pops up. It will have your name and you occupation listed. If you are a writer all you have to put in occupation is writer or author. You don’t have to put where you are working for a pay check, unless you want to connect to people that way. There is a place to list your employment, that you can set to private.

You are easier to find, now what. Connect with a few people and jump into the conversations. As you read the responses, check out who is responding. You might find a gold mine. And don’t be afraid of adding them to a circle.

I use two circles for people I find interesting, but not sure where to put them right away. The acquaintances one (which G+ gives you when you start out) and one I made called suggestions. That is for everyone G+ suggests to me. I can watch them for a bit and decide if they are worth moving to a different circle or dropping.

Find someone you don’t like, you can drop them from your circle, ignore, block, and block with reporting. Ignore means they are following you and you don’t have to read their posts, but they can respond to yours. Block; stops them from seeing your posts. And Block and report, reports the profile to G+ as well.

Those are some quick tips to help you out.

Why have I stayed, since selling isn’t that good. There is more to being an author than selling. Something I think a few of us have forgotten. Selling only on G+ will make you a pariah very quickly. There were a couple of authors I followed on Twitter and Facebook that when they went to G+ I dropped. Why? They were cross posting the same thing (word for word) on all three platforms. And all I saw were “Buy my book” posts. They gave me nothing to interact with.

But as for networking and collaboration, G+ is wonderful. I have posted problems I have had with a recent manuscript, within minutes I get suggestions, links and pep talks. And collaboration: I am working on a horror wiki with other writers and artists.

Maundbury came about because I saw a post that said. “We should make up a horror setting.” With in an hour the wiki was in place and over the last month it has grown. We haven’t seen any writing, except for the entries, but I am sure that will change.

I am also using it for my beta readers, and the people working on my book trailer/mini films. (More about that later, if everything falls into place, it will be very interesting.) G+ makes a nice little place to sort out who I talk to and why.

One negative: The real name policy. I don’t like it. If you write under a pseudonym, you maybe asked to delete that profile. G+ users are fighting it. Because it makes no sense why Lady Gaga can keep her stage name, but a blogger that has used their Internet handle will be kicked out. They have also kicked out people with unusual, but real names. So if you are known under a pseudonym, I would wait and see if G+ changes that policy.

Last piece of advice. G+ is not Facebook. It’s not Twitter. It’s another community. One that you have a little more control over. Facebook is the frat party. Twitter the cocktail party. And G+ is the small town.

If you want to meet more writers; connect with me ( http://gplus.to/MariMiniatt ). One of the circles you see on my profile is my writing one. Jump in.

Categories: General Writing, Social Networking | Tags: ,

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