Thursday, May 30, 2013

Amazon Pricing

Almost every day I am learning how naive I really am when it come to self-publishing. I came across this article on Amazon changing the pricing on self-published e-books, and was astounded. Essentially an author had discounted prices for the holidays, then brought them back up again after the first of the year. One of the venues that they published in was a tad slow in marking the price back up. Amazon, which had put their price back up, saw this, and put the discount price back on their site. The author was never contacted about anything!

My co-author, Brad Tesh (Seek Joy ... Toss Confetti) recently let me know that the print copy of our book (just out in April!) had been discounted. Evidently Amazon can do this at will! We contacted Create Space, and were assured that royalties would be paid at the price we set when publishing the book. Again, no notification from Amazon - they just waved their magic wand!

I am very happy with both Create Space, Kindle, and Amazon for the most part. However, I do think that once an author sets a price that it should stay there, unless they choose to change it. 

There is a few nice pointers in this article on getting the best pricing at Amazon - Ten Secrets To Saving At Amazon.

The New York Times has an excellent article on pricing and gamesmanship.

Interesting thoughts on Amazon price watch trackers.

Something I never knew about - robo pricing!

Two links to dynamic pricing on Amazon - Price Pulsing, Dynamic Pricing.

(c) 2000 - 2013 Bonnie Cehovet
Reproduction in any venue prohibited without the written permission fo the author.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Authors and Contests

 I just got done checking out the rules for a writing contest that I am considering entering. It is being sponsored by a high end fashion house, so to win would be a very nice mention in any writer's resume. But do I really want to enter? I thought the submission date was further away - it turns out it has to be in by the middle of June. And the legalese ... you would not believe it! There is quite a nice compensation for the winner(s), but is it worth it? All rights are signed away, they can use the work in any manner they wish to (including promoting their own line of products), and the author may be called upon to help with the promotions (no further compensation). If I do enter, it will be because they have thrown down what looks like a gauntlet to me. Good thing I do not see this as part of my writing career!

So why, as authors, do we enter writing contests? To me, each author has his or her own reason for entering a contest. As long as we are consciously aware of our reasons for entering a contest, we are still maintaining a presence in the land of reality. Here are a few reasons that an author might consider entering a contest:

1. For the money.
2. To get their name known.
3. To get their work seen.
4. To see how their work compares to that of their fellow authors.
5. The possibility of receiving feedback.
6. The possibility of connecting with an agent.
7. The prestige factor (who is sponsoring the contest).
8. Categories that fit the genre that the author generally writes in. (You will not see me entering a contest for romance writing!)
9. How easy it is to enter (are printed copies required, or can the entries be electronically submitted).
10. Is there a fee to enter? I will enter if the fee is small, but not if it seems out of tone with teh compensation to the winner(s). 
11. Contests can be used to help us "one up" our writing skills, as they are by nature competitions.

With the exception of the contest I am currently considering entering, the only venue that I will consider is mystery. Preferably if cozy mystery is one of the acceptable categories. I plan to do one or more a year, more for the fun of it, than to focus on winning.

How do you look at entering writing contests? Where do they fit into your professional agenda? What are you looking to get out of them?

Happy writing!

(c) 2000-2013 Bonnie Cehovet
Reproduction prohibited without written permission of the author.  

Monday, May 13, 2013

Miscellaneous Tidbits On Blogging

This post is a total ramble, so beware! I am just going to dredge  up a few thoughts on blogging, why author's should blog, and what might be helpful to new bloggers.

1. Make your blog pertinent to your genre. The purpose of your blog it to establish a platform for your work, and to get your name known. To do this, what you choose to write about should reflect the genre you are writing in, so that you are attracting an audience that will follow your work. If you write in more than one genre, as I do,  you have a bit more leeway.

2. Make your posts timely. If new software has come out that will have an effect on how you do your work, if there is news in the publishing industry that affects authors, then make the effort to blog about this, and share the link to your blog on all of your social networks. I share links on Facebook, Twitter, and Google + ... Linked In is still in the "maybe someday" stage, although I do belong to a couple of groups there.

3. If you allow comments on  your blog, then have the courtesy to respond to them. This provides a nice link between you and the individual who made the comment.  They will feel that they are getting to know you better. If you want to build your blog up, visit like-minded blogs, and leave constructive comments there.

4. Make sure that your header is appropriate to the content of your blog, and that it holds enough interest to make people click on it and read it.

5. Use tags, make sure that the tags are appropriate, and use as many tags as possible. This is how Google finds us!

6. Use links to spice up your blog.

7. Keep some kind of schedule to your blogging, so that people know when to look for fresh content.

8. Make sure that there is accurate content info on your blog. 

9. Is your blog all over the place, or is the "voice" consistent. That voice is part of your brand!

10. Treat your blog as a serious marketing tool.

(c) 2000 - 2013 Bonnie Cehovet
Use in any venue without the written permission of the author isprohibited.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Paying Attention To Life

So often we do not pay attention to life. This happened to me this past week, when I received a post from a friend who was at the end of her financial rope in continuing to keep open two well used and significant tools within the Tarot community - Attune Magazine (she is founder and editor), and Attune Magazine Radio on Blog Talk Radio. Aside from her time, it takes money to keep these venues going. I was appalled that I had not seen this situation coming, and immediately took what action I could take. I also placed a challenge out to the Tarot community, and this was their response - Thank You! I am very proud of the Tarot community, and its ability to step up. A small plug for Mary here - If you would like to place an article/interview/review/poetry/video/ad in Attune Magazine (this is a quarterly magazine, next issue due out in July), or if you would like to be interviewed on Mary's radio show, click  here -  Attune Magazine.

Speaking of gentle promoting - my friend Jennifer Sieck invited me to an event called the Fishbowl on Facebook. The event will be going on all weekend. All we do is introduce ourselves, and place a post and a link on the event page. Jennifer also suggested making up a free card at Vista Print to add some pizzazz to my posts, so I did that too! I get to read about other practitioners/counselors/artists, like their pages,and they in turn like mine! What a deal! And what a group of very nice people!

There are a couple of links that I would like to share with you. The first one is very close to my heart - Kindle Formatting. I have a couple of books in the world of Kindle, and wish that I had known this before I very haphazardly managed to get them  up! Future books will go up with much greater ease!

I dearly love the lady who wrote this post - although we have never met, and never spoken. She is so clear, and so organized - her work is a pleasure to read! Second Thoughts On Publishing Your Print Book.

What a year! My co-author Brad Tesh and I have been promoting our book, Seek Joy ... Toss Confetti on several Blog Talk radio shows (thank you to Mary Nale, Maggie Lukowski and Jean Maurie Puhlman, Melinda Carver, and Jennifer Sieck!), and even managed to get a page up on Facebook - Seek Joy ... Toss Confetti. Next up for me - promotingmy new Tarot book - Tarot, Rituals, and You.

One last link, for those of us that are self-publishing - Write and Promote Your Indie Book Quickly and Easily .

Wishing you all a wonderful weekend!

(c) 2000 - 2013 Bonnie Cehovet
Republication in any format prohibited without written permission from the author.

Accepting The Challenge: Sharing Books

I was very pleased to be challenged on Face Book by fellow author Ruth Stefanowitz to post books that I value over a seven day period. ...