Monday, October 29, 2012

The Journey of Anica Storm - Part 2 is complete!

I'm happy to say that part 2 of my 3 part series (book 1) The Journey of Anica Storm is complete! It's going to be polished and formatted to be a eBook. I need to make a title for this one and part 1 as well. This is exciting news and my goal is to have book 1 - The Journey of Anica Storm complete by the end of November 2012! Wish me luck! Check back here and I'll keep you posted on the details.


Tuesday, October 23, 2012

This Sh*t Is Hard Work!!!

While anyone can slap some words together, add a pic for a book cover and upload to Amazon, there's nothing to fear from those who are career authors.

I say that because if you really are serious about becoming an author, there's a ton of things you need to do on top of getting your story down on paper (virtual or not) and that's already a feat in and of itself!

Example... say you get your book uploaded, like I said in my last post, most new books are invisible to the world. I could have the best story, editing and cover and no one would ever know.

Like a diamond in the ground, it's up to you to promote yourself like crazy in order for people to see your true beauty otherwise it'll just sit there.

One way to get yourself known is by adding a link to your email signature so you give potential readers a chance to find you. Write a blog, update a Facebook page with news of what you're doing.

Use Twitter and the search bar to find other authors... they will promote you if you promote them. They are not your competition, they are your ally. Trust me...

But how?!?

Because #Readers will often browse through an authors following list to find other authors. I know because over two weeks ago I had 65 followers. I'm now at 1,006 followers. The only thing I did was add the word Author to my last name.

#Readers enjoy discovering other authors similar to their favorites in hopes of finding one equal if not better to entertain them.

My ex-girlfriend was an avid reader, sometimes taking home a dozen books from our local library that she would read front to back in no time and want more! I honestly didn't think the library had enough new books to keep her busy.

Point being - there are hungry readers out there who will probably give your work a shot AND if they like it, they will join your team by promoting you to their friends, family & probably tweet or blog (because in this day and age, word travels fast... good or bad.)

That being said, there is a certain level of criteria you have to meet, set by the publishers of old. That is, you must have your spelling, grammar, sentence structure, plot, and characters all in order or they will potentially unleash the Criken on your ass! This can be in the form of bad reviews, videos, blog posts, etc.

So like I said, not only do you have to write, you have to please your audience by giving them something they like, hopefully original enough -(most stories or ideas someone, somewhere came up with. The more original and entertaining you can be, the better your odds of being discovered.)

Remember, if you can do that just by itself, then readers will go up to bat for you and also help promote you. That's one of the incredible things about the net... if you release it to the world, it takes on a life of its own. Fans will email you, fan fiction may pop up with your characters you created (which can be a good or bad thing.)

Oh, and you can't just spam your book like crazy either because that will backfire on you as well. There's a very fine line to walk.

That's why I'm saying this shit is hard because if you really want to be good and succeed, you need to play by the rules other successful authors are following. Study them, read lots of blogs, ASK QUESTIONS and know who your target audience is.

They are the ones you are writing for. Is your vampire zombie hybrid cross dressing werewolf written for conservative seniors or for young adults between 18 and 35 who like Twilight? Know what they like and write about it.

To sum up everything... to do this right requires dedication and unbelievable commitment of your free time and mental energy.

On top of that, you can't just give people one good book... you've got to plan on a second book because statistically you will get more sales if you have more books.

People who like you are most likely going t buy your other works because you've established trust and now a BRAND. This also takes time and effort.

So I'm not trying to discourage anyone, I'm sharing what I've discovered on my journey one month in now. To do it right, its going to be a while.

I welcome your comments if you'd like to add to this.

Steven W.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

The greatest time in history... is now!

I'm learning that now is the greatest time ever in history to be a writer. eReaders and eBooks are destroying the death grip once held for the longest time by the Big 6 publishers. They were the gate keepers who said YOU SHALL NOT PASS! To thousands of great authors of the past.

They were the ones you prayed to for favor and blessing in hopes they will give you a contract and hog most of the profits, giving you mere morsels and a reminder to be thankful you got anything at all. There are some that say "but now anyone can publish anything and there's gonna be crap now."

While there is a fraction of truth to this, as an author who's on the road to success right now, I can say that almost by default, all books are invisible. You'll be lucky if anyone finds you and that's a good thing.


Because I'm discovering that being a successful author is not about writing a great book (even though that's your main objective)its about growing and nurturing a fan base of followers who will buy your books sight/title unseen because they trust and know you through your work. JK Rowling's latest book sucks according to the reviews but read them, many will buy just on name alone, even at $17 bucks for a digital download.

I'm learning I need to market myself, grow my readers, earn their loyalty & trust, all which takes time. Word of mouth is going to make me successful, even in a sea of crappy books. :-)

Sunday, October 7, 2012 & Why You Should Care... is a website that requires you to meet (or exceed) a certain standard of formatting - which they will show you, step by step - and if you follow their rules and apply it to your book - they will submit your book to Itunes, Barnes & Noble, Sony, Kobo, Amazon and so many other places for FREE.

On top of that, they will give you all kinds of neat things that can only help you grow as an author. One of the things I like is the ability to make coupons! These coupons expire - which gives the holder a sense of urgency (Use it or lose it!) These coupons can be for cents off, dollars off, or for 100% off!

They can be given away in exchange for book reviews so the person can go to ~ type in the coupon and download the book FREE and then blog about it - thus increasing your exposure and helping the search engines find you. The possibilities are endless!

I wish I joined Smashwords a lot sooner than later, which is why I'm blogging about it now. If you're just starting out or if you're looking to get better exposure (who isn't?) then sign up today - it's free!  :-)

Friday, October 5, 2012

Twitter & Facebook Tips for Success...

If you're going to be using the social media tools like Twitter & Facebook - Don't look at every person you follow or link up with as people you're selling to.


You heard me. Stay away from that! Instead, promote them and their works. Do a search for #Indie, #Authors, #YA Writers, #Writers, or whatever else. Find other authors and follow them. Send them a hello or at the very least a Thank You for following me. And from time to time, retweet their message or promote their book.

WAIT!?! WTH...

I know I know... you should be selling your book right and not wasting your energy on them.

But that's where the beauty of the genius comes in...

You see when you promote someone else, you're establishing good will. You're helping them. You're scoring brownie points. What if they are just starting out (like you) and boom they hit it big... guess who they are going to remember? You!

Okay - say they're not big yet, but they got several thousand followers. Guess what... they are probably going to return the favor. Hey everyone - Follow @Steven_Wolff - he's a great writer and his book got ghosts? is worth the read! Check it out!

Guess what? She just promoted you to 2000 of her followers! Talk about marketing! Especially if you have your twitter setup to go directly to your website or Amazon page and they want to buy your book! Let's say 1/4 of those 2000 like your book! That's 500 people who are going to tell their friends about you! "Guys, I just downloaded this book about real ghost stories!"

Hopefully you get my point. Maybe the person you promoted might even buy your book too and maybe the next big fan of yours! Now you've got 2001 people who will be listening when you tweet.

See... What goes around, comes around. Trust me, I'm banking on it.  :-)

Good luck!
Steven W.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

100% of All Ebook Sales Goes To Helping A 5 Year Old Boy

Join Team Jaxon - A 5 year old boy who's fighting brain cancer. What makes this kid someone you want to help is that he's taking the money people give for him and he gives it directly to other kids fighting cancer. If that's not the definition of a hero, I don't know what is. So while I maybe a new author and I have only one book - I want to donate all 100% of my October sales to Jaxon. We both can't do it alone which is why there's strength in numbers. Promote this blog, share it, tweet it... let the world know that if they buy the book "Got Ghosts? Real Stories of Paranormal Activity" (Kindle is $2.99, Print is $4.37) that they'll get triple Karma points for the month of October! Who doesn't like Triple Karma Points? Jaxon is a nephew of a close friend of mine and he's fighting for his life. Please, pass this info on. Thanks!

Steven Wolff
Author - Got Ghosts?

Readers Note: Steven has dedicated his life and has given selflessly to others by working as a Nation Certified EMT (Medic), Volunteer Fire Fighter, Hospice Worker and has donated his time to feed the homeless. He believes in paying it forward in hopes of making this world a better place for all.