In October of 2019, I discovered something about Amazon that I hadn’t known before. It was something called X-Ray. I spent three days updating and enabling X-ray on all of the books in the series through Draoithe: Fire and a Gryphon and the prequel. Draoithe: A Pack Forms was easy, but the number of characters that must be identified got serious after that. So I wrote out all the character descriptions and saved them to Google Docs for future references. (I have lists for a whole lot of crazy things like that. It appears I need to create a new one.)
I never have time to do everything or remember it all. When I was scrolling through old blog posts to see what should be imported over as I get ready to switch platforms, I realized two things. One, I’m way better at blogging than I used to be. Two, I forgot about X-ray somewhere along the way and I can’t even remember the last book to which I added an X-ray. Wow, the day job gets in the way of good publishing and marketing. (Don’t even get me started on all the stuff that gets in the way of writing or the list would never end.)
For anyone who wants to self-publish, these little things might seem silly or unimportant, but I always felt that it was the little things that made a book. I mean if a hardcover book had no copyright page in the front, although it would still read well, you would as the reader always feel as if there was a page missing. We never read that page, yet we’re conditioned to expect it to be there. It subconsciously matters even if it isn’t technically part of the storyline.
The same thing is true of publishing or marketing. It’s often the small details that transform the success of a book from crickets to reads and buys. I hope the increase in sales also equates to an increase in reader appreciation. So I’ll be heading back to my Kindle Bookshelf and reviewing my titles to add X-ray to those that lack it. It is a small thing, but what if that helped just one reader find my stories and escape into the dream? Then it would have been worth it.
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A broken man with nothing left to lose. A warrior woman who never found Mr. Right. A disaster waiting to happen? Or a match made in the dream?
Draoithe: Midnight Magic by Ophelia Kee
Check out the Book Trailer on this one!
I know that everyone knows that Social Media is important for promoting books, but I want to stress that too much of anything is a bad thing. I have about seven different platforms that I’m comfortable with. Is that the magic number? No.
None would be bad. One is probably a start, but if you have so many that you can’t keep up with your promotions and the social media takes over your life, I promise you have too much.
Start with what you know. Build from where you’re comfortable. Readers will seek you out on the internet and having a social media presence will help them find authors. Don’t get excited and think that you’ll suddenly build a huge following or sell enough books to quit your day job. (It can take over 7 years to build a following and a backlog large enough to earn a steady income. Remember when I promised not to lie? I keep my promises.)
Follow the 7/11 rule for business. Open all the time! And It takes 7-11 times for a person to pass your product before they’ll even consider purchasing it. So post often and try to do so regularly.
If videos aren’t for you, avoid Youtube and Tiktok. If you don’t have a ton of images, think Twitter and Facebook and post your word promos with your book links.
Use Google drawings and Pixabay to create custom images with excerpts from your stories and post to Pinterest, Tumblr, and Instagram. (Drop me a line if that gets a bit confusing.) If stories are your thing, consider them on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter.
Readers if you hung in there with me, check me out on most of the above. Not on TikTok, yet, maybe eventually!
What’s in a Name?
I saw a response to an answer I posted on Instagram or Twitter. No, maybe it was Facebook. Never mind where only what matters. It was a question about how an author builds characters. I do research about magic, legendary and mythical creatures, supernatural abilities, etc… but what I think matters more is the name.
I need the meaning of the name so I look up origins, meanings, and synonyms. Then I sketch out the character the name belongs to. (In words, not pictures because God knows I can’t even draw stick figures.) The way the character smells, eye color, hair color, height, weight, personal flaws, etc…
Take Diarmuid Cinead from Book Seven in the Draoithe Series. He’s a resurrected dragon who was once the Irish king of the ruined castle of Lachsmead in Leinster. If you want to check him out and learn about this unique character, most of his story is in Draoithe: A Dark Gift. But sadly like most sagas, you need to read the other books to learn the rest of his story. It might be worth it if you need a grand escape.
Okay, enough of this blogging stuff. I’m supposed to be writing rather than avoiding it by working on something else (like this blog post. Isn’t that such a writerly thing to do? LOL). If you read, please be kind and leave your review. No author will ever be angry that you spoke up about the stories you love.
Until Next time,