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Wednesday, May 16, 2012

A small group of local authors met ...

Today I met with Maggie and Paul, both local authors in my hometown and willing to meet and strategize marketing our independently-published books. We sat in the cozy fireside corner of the Scala Art Center, where Pickering's hardware was established many years ago. A few customers wandered in and out while we sat meeting and chatting about our recent experiences marketing our books.

Paul spoke a bit about the convention of book authors and publishers that he attended recently in New York, and brought back a few books to share with some members of the group who wrote in a similar vein. I dream of one day being able to go to such a gathering, sharing with others the variety of books I have published, and those I intend yet to write and market.

Maggie told us about her independent publisher.Outskirts Press in Colorado, which has a range of services available to authors, who are not obligated to purchase anything they might not need or want at this point in their journey. Paul and I are both using different self-publishers, he with Lulu and I with CreateSpace. We compared the costs of such services, and the amount of marketing we've done either through the publishers or through word of mouth.

Maggie also talked of her finding a good deal at Kinko's for bookmarks that feature the illustrator's work from her book, and I spoke of the reasonable prices I find at Vistaprint. Paul spoke of how easy it is to work with Vistaprint, and to potentially buy more than one needs with such ease:) !

Social media was also discussed as a marketing tool. I talked about the various sites at Facebook that host authors who share similar thoughts and topics. We talked about having websites as a grounding core of marketing efforts, but in reality we're all just learning how to use these sites to our advantage.

I talked about my recent disappointment with a group I'd connected with on LinkedIn, realizing only recently that job offers in India would pay only wages accepted in India, which amounted to only pennies and single dollars here in America. I'd found a calculator site on the internet that would convert currencies, and learned that offering to pay 9 Rupees for 500 word articles was offering less than $2.00, and that offering 500 Rupees for a 3000 word article would garner less than $10.00 US currency. When I posted these currency exchanges at the site, another writer from India came on to advise me that this was an Indian site, and that I would never receive as much as $10.00 for a short article in India.

Maggie and Paul and I went back to the discussion of reviews, and how to garner them for our books. I said that I'm reviewing other authors' books here at my blog, but have received very few in return. That may be that the books I'm reviewing are not of the same genres that I've written so far. A discussion of paid reviewers came up, and we questioned the value of that over a real review by a reader who chose to read the book. We didn't have a real answer to that.

We'll meet again, optimistically with a fourth member who couldn't make today's daytime meeting. We'll meet in the evening, perhaps at the Scala Art Center, or at one of our homes if the hours don't work for the setting. We'll share ideas again, and bolster each other's spirits.

I'll keep you posted here in a month or so, to let you know whether this small group of mutually-supportive authors solves any great problems, or finds any new ways to further our publishing success.

Meanwhile, back at the book shelf: 

Here's another five star review at Amazon:
I found this a very illuminating story. A very personal account of disease, disability, and the failure of the medical system to be able to deal with it. There are a great many diseases, and people in this same situation who would find this helpful.

And here's a reminder:
Multiple Sclerosis an Enigma is on sale right now at, for less than $5.00. This sale will end on June 19th. Click on this link and use this code at checkout to get the discount: LY76U. The book is now available at Smashwords for all e-book formats: Kindle, Nook, I-Pad, Sony E-Reader, etc. I think it will even download to your I-Phone, if you have one! Check out the site and see how many formats you can choose from!
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