Children’s author donates to Watarrka Foundation

Congratulations to children’s author Jan Lillefjære on the publication of his latest book, Åse and the Honeybees. This marks the fifth children’s picture book Jan has published with EMSA Publishing. Other titles include Tales from Lofoten, The Curious Misadventures of Ase the Bear, Matylda Goes on a Walkabout, and Kakadu. Each of these books follows the adventures of adorable forest animals.

Recently, Jan Lillefjære was featured by the Watarrka Foundation, a non-profit whose goal is to “deliver programs that support a sustainable environment, education, healthy lifestyles and independent livelihoods for Aboriginal communities in the Watarrka region.” Jan has pledged to donate the proceeds from the sales of his books and related merchandise to the foundation, which is both generous and admirable.

To buy any of Jan’s books, please click on the book title in the above post.

Read “Children’s Book Author Generously Donates to the Foundation.

Visit the Watarrka Foundation‘s website to learn more about this excellent charity.

Discover more about author Jan Lillefjære on his website.

15 Free Book Promo Sites

Author and EMSA founder Elise Abram writes about her experiences selling her latest novel, I Was, Am, Will Be Alice in a post sharing 15 promotional sites she’s found on which you can post your books for free. Check out the list at http://eliseabram.com/15-free-book-promo-sites/

                                        Image made on placeit.net

I’m on the book promo path again. Newly edited, my last book, I Was, Am, Will Be Alice will be on sale for the month of January 2017 for only $0.99. I threw a lot of money behind it for advertising in the summer when it was released, so this time I’m reluctant to put any new money into the project. To that end, I went searching online and found 15 amazing and free book promo sites. I signed up at all of them, hoping it will help my prospects, and I want to share them all with you.

Without further ado, here are 15 free book promo sites (in no particular order) you can use to help promote your book. Note that I am writing this blog post in advance of seeing my book advertised and having any sales, so I cannot vouch for some of these sites except for the fact that they allow you to upload your book for free… [more]

Beginner’s Guide to Building an Online Platform

Most of my experience in the world of publishing has been helping friends and colleagues to get their work published, so I never had the need to create a social media presence for what I do. But when I decided to go pro, I realized that my business was going nowhere without an online platform.

Starting an online platform from scratch is a lot of work with little return, at least in the beginning. Nevertheless, in today’s digital market, it’s exactly what I had to do. It’s also exactly what many first time authors need to do, and so I thought I’d share the process with you.

Without further ado, here is my beginner’s guide to building an online platform:

Claim your domain name.

A domain name is how potential fans will find you on the web. You can choose from virtually any name or phrase, so long as it hasn’t already been registered. Many authors choose their book title as a domain name, but I suggest using the name under which you publish. That way you can create a separate page for each book and keep site maintenance to a minimum.

Build a web page.

Take a breath…this isn’t as daunting as it sounds. There are quite a few really good point and click interfaces out there. I like WordPress, but you can also use Wix or Weebly and forward your domain name to your site. Pages you might want to include on your site include synopses of your books including buy links, and a brief biography which lists ways to contact you. While a blog is not mandatory, it’s a good way to pique reader interest, particularly if you blog about writing and the writing process, and/or the subject and genre in which you write.

Claim your social media accounts.

Create a Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, GoodReads, Pinterest, Storify, and GooglePlus account in your name. If your name is taken, try adding the word “author” or “books” to it. Social media is a great way to publicize your work and draw reader attention.

Link your social media for cross-posts.

You can join your social media accounts to post to each other, which is a huge time-saver. By cross-posting, your blog can post to select social media for you, Twitter can post to Facebook and vice-versa. Same with GoodReads. Some websites (like WordPress) will even let you create a widget that shows your last few Twitter and Facebook posts on your website. GoodReads has code that will display your To Be Read list, or the title of the book you are currently reading in a sidebar, all of which can help make connections between you and your readers. Use a scheduling site like HootSuite to enable you to post during peak hours, if you can’t physically post at those times yourself.

Create social media buzz.

Post to Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest regularly. I usually make an advertising post about once a week. The rest of the time I’m reposting materials about publishing and writing that I find on the web and that my followers might find interesting. I also post a notification to social media any time I add something to my blog or earn accolades on the web for my work. I reserve sites like Storify, GooglePlus and LinkedIn exclusively to promote posts about my own work.

Follow and friend like-minded people.

Search up hashtags for your genre and content on Twitter and follow a few of the people that post them. Join Facebook groups for writers and lovers of similar genres and content. Interact regularly by liking, sharing, and retweeting. Engage and interact with your followers and friends and they’ll follow suit. Before you know it you’ll be networking like a pro, selling books with little effort, which, after all, is the primary reason you embarked on the journey to create an author platform in the first place.

Do you have any other ideas for beginning writers wanting to set up an online presence? If so, share your tips in the comments below.

7 Places (and 1 bonus idea) where you can list your books for free

As authors, our goal is to get read, which means getting the word out there. If you’re like most of us, you spend your time dreaming of the day you can shed the shackles of your day job in favour of making a living at writing full time. The old adage, “you have to spend money to make money,” just doesn’t work for us, because we don’t have a lot of money to spend on things like advertising campaigns which may or may not prove successful.

So what do you do while you’re waiting for your book to make it to the best sellers’ list? You seek out free publicity. And who doesn’t love a bit of free publicity?

Here are eleven places (and one idea) where you can list your books online, totally free!

Happy posting!

BookBzz

Bookbzz is an online social sharing site where people can talk about and review books. While they have other paid features, you can list your book for free and participate in the social sharing (or not), if you desire.

BookGoodies

Click on the “Authors Start Here” button on the menu at the top of the page for a list of free services. While there are a lot more features you can use if your book is free or under a dollar, it doesn’t have to be.

HumanMade

HumanMade is a place for people to promote their talents. If carrying a story from start to end isn’t a talent, I don’t know what is.

BiblioScribe

This site offers a lot of opportunities for free PR including a free press release, article submission, and the ability to create a web page to promote your book for free.

iAuthor

iAuthor will attempt to link your book to readers interested in your genre and content. The site allows you to create a page for as many books as you’d like.

AuthorMarketingClub

Though the Author Marketing Club has a lot of paid services for authors, you can still post your book for free on their site at no charge.

AwesomeGang

Fill out the form with your book title, description and cover image and the site will create an awesome page featuring your book at no charge.

And the bonus idea?

Check out your post-secondary institution’s homepage. Mine keeps a list of books published by its alumni. I am able to post all of my books there, including cover images, totally free!

Do you have any other suggestions to add to the list? If so, please post them in the comments below.