Tag Archive: elements of an author website


 

review of wool omnibus

I bought the Wool-Omnibus e-book as a nook book, and it was a fantastic read. Hugh Howey is a do-it-yourself self published author, and I am a big fan!

Hugh Howey wrote Wool-Omnibus, which I just finished reading – and it is Really Good. I totally recommend it.
He used e-book technology to self publish a book. And he is on the bestseller list now.

Hugh started Wool as a series, and put it out himself as an e-book on Amazon. The book got a good response. He wrote more and in 2011, the story hit the big time – still as an e-book. Wool – Omnibus is the series, seamlessly pulled together as a full-length book. It sold enough copies to gain the attention of film producers and traditional publishers, and Hugh was able to negotiate a book deal he was happy with.

This is the kind of self publishing success story I have been watching for, where an author self publishes a book and then moves into traditional publishing based on the success of that book. Hugh Howey has done it with fiction, beating even more of the odds – since I think it is harder to sell fiction in any form, especially as a self publisher.

His success stems from

  • a really well-written book,
  • a uniquely intriguing original story,
  • and by having used the self publishing system and technology well.

Congratulations to Hugh, and as a Wool fan, I’m looking forward to more of the story!

Hugh’s website is also very cool – it’s got the kind of info and communication readers want from our authors – and is fascinating for anyone interested in self publishing a book.

In particular, Hugh Howey’s path was through e-books. He underpriced his books, making it very easy for a reader to take a chance, give it a whirl. The list price was not much of an obstacle, and the power of his storytelling gained word-of-mouth momentum. His bio on his website indicates some computer background, and so doing the e-book himself was clearly within reach. Only now, with his consistent presence on bestseller lists, is he coming out with physical books. Those are being produced by Simon and Schuster, the traditional way.

I look forward to adding spotlight authors to this series of posts – Successful Self Published Authors. Writers are making it work, and it isn’t pure luck. It’s about a great story, the right technology, and not giving up…

 

 

Details about my writing contract for just a couple of chickens

Buff Polish Chicks want details about my first writing contract for Just A Couple of Chickens, so I made a movie. Because chicks dig movies.

I was so excited when my first book, “Just A Couple Of Chickens” came out in 2010.

I was even more excited when it began to sell,

and when it got good reviews,

and when I heard from readers about how much they have enjoyed reading it.

I got all wrapped up in building a website to promote the book,

And establishing connections with distributors… something my husband, Andrew, is uniquely supremely gifted at doing, which led to sales of over 1,500 copies.

So I thought I would make a little movie to share some of the details of my first writing contract for this first book…. and here it is.

 

Self Publishing Advice Tulip Field

In an endless field of cool things to do with my website, how do I choose just one? And which tulip is the right tulip for me?

The wonderful thing about the internet is that there are so many things you can do!
The terrible thing about the internet is that there are so many things you can do.

Which things are worth my time?

Learning how all of this is going to help me sell my self published book is a massive time-sink, so I have to be very sure that doing something is worth it.

Based on my research, my observations, my workshop attendances, my groups, my mentors, my website classes, and my habit of listening in on Starbucks conversations – having your posts show up on your Facebook page is worth it.

Posting regularly to my blog – (which is the same as my website)… is worth it. And making sure those posts show up on my Facebook page (page, not profile – tho I could do both) is worth it, because I can make the Facebook page updates happen automatically. I can include automatic tweets with the same process, so that’s worth it too.

You can set up your Facebook page to have your blog posts flow automatically each time you post fresh material using the Networked Blogs app, done through Facebook. The same app will push the posts to your Twitter account.

I first set up HootSuite to do this, one of many free services that will do it automatically. But HootSuite would not let thumbnails of my post images show on my Facebook page and that was a deal breaker for me. I think people are more likely to click through if the picture shows, so I switched to Networked Blogs. I’d gone with HootSuite first because I’d read that Networked Blogs would count my click traffic as their own… but in the end, the thumbnails issue was more urgent.

Any specific details on how these services function goes out of date super fast, because everything is so dynamic on the web. Most of the tutorials I viewed about how to set up Networked Blogs were using the old Facebook interface – although they all still worked. The screenshots were out of date. So the info in the paragraph above may no longer be an issue by the time you are reading this post… but regardless, pick one and move forward so that your posts flow to both your Facebook page and your Twitter account.

Google “How to setup Networked Blogs” or “How to post blogs to my Facebook page” and follow through. Then keep posting regularly, because the heart of all the “How to use a website for Self Publishing” advice is to keep posting regularly, and then make those posts work for you.

If I’m wrong about Hootsuite, let me know!  (And if it would take a massive HTML hack to make it show thumbnails… that doesn’t count.)

 

Lots of eggs of self publishing advice

This is how many plugins I have. Is it too many?

You would not believe the trouble I’ve had in getting that question answered.
I think if a writer is going to post with that question in the title, they should answer the question!

So here is the answer…

If you are having to ask “how many plugins is too many plugins?” then you probably have too many plugins.
They can slow down your site. So if your site is loading too slowly
… more than 4 seconds…
then you have too many plugins.

It was tentblogger.com who finally quoted numbers… thank you tentblogger!

Plugins should number 10 – 15 in general, and max out at 20 if you are using W3 Total Cache.

That sounds accurate to me because my website started to slow down with less than 20 and the last 5 plugins I installed were intended to try and speed it back up.
And it also means I need to give up some plugins, cuz I am at 29 and already installed W3 Total Cache (and configured it). Wah.

But another important point I came across was… why do I have so many plugins?  Perhaps I am fighting with my theme… or trying to do too much… or under-utilizing the other plugins.

That’s a big 10-4 on all of those points. Back to the dashboard…. Because a slow site is worse than any other website flaw.

I wonder if there is a plugin for figuring out how many plugins I can get away with.
Is there a plugin rehab?
because I think I may have a problem.

 

 

 

I have the WordPress logo burned into my retinas, I’ve been staring at their support forum for so long… but worth it!  I’ve got all kinds of cool ways for you to contact me at this blog now! I also made a favicon out of the book. I feel awesome. Actually, I think I have a tummy bug, but other than that I feel awesome.

I have a Newsletter Sign Up!  It is below, and it is one the sidebar, and it is in the menu.
It is actually the Participants Database plugin because that way I can access the collected database like the database manager that I am…

I have a Contact Form which can be accessed by clicking on the words Contact Form, or in the sidebar or in the footer.

And I finally made a proper email for this site!  It is talktotheauthor@thewestchesterpress.com

 

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