August McLaughlin Sexuality-Body Image-Psych Thriller

Sexuality writer/activist August McLaughlin discusses sex, body image, eating disorders and more within her psych thriller, In Her Shadow. Join us live or watch later on YouTube via Indie Authors #66. Hosted by Jason Matthews and Marla Miller.

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Peyton Manning prefers Google Plus over Facebook Twitter

My writer friends often lament, Not another social media site. Why should I add Google Plus to my author platform?

And I reply, Peyton Manning. As confusion spreads across faces, I attempt to explain.

Whilst checking blog stats for search engine keywords that sent perfect strangers to my blog, the term Peyton Manning was doing pretty well. Surprising since I forgot about writing on the great quarterback, and so I performed a Google search for Peyton Manning. Somewhere down the list this came up:

Peyton Manning Google PlusMemory jogged. After writing a blog post in Feb of 2012, I performed the routine of a blurb on Facebook, Twitter and Google Plus with the exact same information: the Title and a Link to the blog post.

Over time, the simple Google Plus mention brought way more visitors to my blog post than either Facebook or Twitter, which fell out of favor quickly with search engines.

Obviously it helps that Google owns Google Plus. And it also helps that the search results will be filtered for people who have added me to their circles versus people who haven’t.

But still, when the blurbs were made back in Feb 2012 I had more Facebook friends and a similar number of Twitter followers, so why did the G+ mention do so much better over time? Since I don’t know, my reply is to just keep doing it.

As the explanation continues and confusion becomes less apparent on faces, these G+ tidbits seem to go further:

  • Google Plus has video hangouts with multiple people that are much better than Skype.
  • Google owns YouTube–hangouts can become YouTube videos with one click. (tutorial for doing that)
  • Google and YouTube are the #1 and #2 search engines in the world.
  • With the Contributor To and Rel=Author functions in place, you profile picture appears in search results.
  • Simple SEO Tips anyone can use will help bunches.

Are those enough reasons to add this social media super-site to your author platform?

What are your thoughts or comments?

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Building Author Platform

Article posted on Interviews With Indie Authors.

When I first heard the term, author platform, it sounded like a place to jump from to commit writer suicide. Turns out nothing could be further from the truth; it’s the essence of vitality and a life-giving force for writers. Self-published authors especially need to build and maintain an author platform.

Ask ten people and you’ll probably get ten slightly different answers on what the term means. I believe it’s what writers do to make themselves visible, and these days that really boils down to everything they do online to make themselves visible. After all, we’re living in a global community of readers. Ten years ago, the average self-published author would have had little chance of making sales in foreign countries or even far away states, but those days are over. I regularly connect with readers not only from around America but from around the world, and I love the potentials that are in place because of companies like Amazon and products like e-readers and smart phones. It also helps that English is a popular native language and the most common second language for non-native speakers. These days it wouldn’t be a shock if a girl in Beijing read your book on her cell phone while taking the bus to school. Ten years ago that was impossible.

How do you build an author platform?

Would you like to comment?

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Screwpulp Unique Ebook Business Model

Screwpulp logoA novel approach for an ebook business? It appears Screwpulp has one. An innovative platform may benefit new authors and readers alike.

How are they different? “By giving away the initial copies of the book for free, in exchange for a mention on social media and a star rating, we quickly get your book into the hands of readers. This builds a fanbase for the author quickly and this exchange creates buzz around your work. As demand for the book goes up so does the price in one dollar increments.”

All books begin as free downloads then go to $1 after receiving 25 downloads. Will they go to $2 at 50 or 100 downloads? We’ll see soon as they are a fledgling company with a current best-seller topping the charts at 30 downloads. However, that will change quickly. My curiosity wanders to the price ceiling, which might come into play around the $3 or $5 or dare I say $7 to $9 mark. Will be fun to watch. But even for the $1 sales–at 75% royalties to the author, that’s good money compared to major retailers.

I asked Richard Billings, CEO of Screwpulp, how it all began?

I came up with a form of the idea about 3 years ago and inadvertently did customer discovery by speaking with readers and writers for a couple of years, which helped me to define Screwpulp to what it is today.  We listened very carefully to both sides in order to create a marketplace that would be beneficial to all types of readers and writers.  Our company was officially formed in February 2013 and launched in beta on May 1st 2013.

Who are the founders?

I am the original founder with Will Phillips Jr., our designer, coming on in July of 2012.  I found through my discovery process that design was important to both readers and writers.  We brought on Richard Batt for business operations, and Kris Spencer for development in Feb 2013.  More recently Joe Wikert, a 20 year publishing insider who has spent the last several years focusing on change in the industry, joined the team as a board member and mentor.

What motivates you?

I’m an amateur writer and found several problems with self-publishing model.  Also, like the rest of the team, I’m an avid reader.  As a reader I found that most self-publishing sites weren’t very user friendly or visually appealing.  They sold books by authors I didn’t know, with no ratings to base my decision on, for higher prices that I was willing to spend on so many unknowns.  Our motivation is to make the self-publishing experience better for both the reader and the writer.

What sales growth are you seeing?

We launched on May 1st with 4 books, 4 authors, and of course 0 users.  Today, nearly six weeks later, we have about 50 books, 45 authors (from 3 countries), and we’re approaching 800 users.  This growth has been mostly organic as we done very little marketing.

Not bad to start. That will change dramatically soon. Where do you see book prices eventually rising to?

That’s hard to say.  So far there hasn’t been a mechanism that allows the market to decide what prices should be.  We think our crowd-driven pricing will give real indications about what readers are willing to spend on self-published titles.

How do authors upload and in what format?

Eventually authors will be able to submit through the website.  We’re in early beta and will be adding features regularly.  Currently the submission process is found at this link:

Have to admit, this is a brilliant idea. Good for authors and readers. Here’s a YouTube video with a bit more:

Add a comment?

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Facebook Group Explosion

Facebook Group explosionIs your Facebook Group suddenly getting way more traffic or requests to join than normal? Are 30 newbies in line to be added today, and normally that total is 2? If so, you’re not alone.

Once again Facebook changes have come about. FB is recommending areas of interest to users based on what they’ve been doing and joining (ugly yellow arrows).

Smart idea? Probably. Group recommendations make sense although the new influx might overwhelm you, especially if you prefer doing a little research to cut down on the fly-by-spammer types.

How to avoid Facebook Group spam? Check people’s profile. If they just joined FB last week and are in 13 groups–not a good sign. If they only have one photo and no comments–not a good sign. If she’s smoking hot and you can’t understand why she’d want to join your group–not a good sign and she’s not really the girl in the picture (probably not even a girl).

Have fun, enjoy the bigger party. But don’t let these newbies waltz around thinking they can promote every one of their products and websites. Take a stand–this is your house.

Add a comment?

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